Fragments

The way his eyelids fold above his eyes when he glances upwards.

A radio station I’d only heard online, blasting in a clothing shop

where I traded $20 for 200 pesos.

The first taste of cold Fernet and coke, with ice.

Standing to wait in the street, instead of the sidewalk.

Hearing “feliz navidad” as I buy 2 liters of water for a sweltering day.

Walking on the handprint of Maradona, as though I were in a Hollywood

one million times more personally meaningful.

Every shower freezing, like a baptism each time.

Crepes of caramel and the blackest beer in the house,

lying sick in my bunk, next to a future lifelong friend

who offered me a walk on the beach,

but I was leaving that day.

last night, ultimately alone, Mendoza,

empanadas, spaghetti, too much, never enough

of that restaurant with the flag in the window.

the chico in the plaza playing mad guitar with his

girlfriend watching proudly on the bricks.

no shame anywhere, and personal sadness

only under a thick layer of empathetical radiance.

our last moments in each other’s presence,

spent in pointed silence.

regret for not loving you sooner,

passionate nerves vibrating for the future.

My small green silk journal from abuela.

the chair he pulled out for me

salsa I pretended to dance,

wondering if he was intentionally edging

so close to my mouth.

the City at dawn, garage doors over each shop,

-except the Farmacia-

the cigarette between his lips,

no fingers used to keep in place,

instead interlaced with mine,

despite my numb.

Chinese food and flan,

dinner on the hostel’s bench by his side,

why didn’t I kiss him in the shower

upstairs, while everyone ate?

the hostel worker who “waved good-bye”

to his return plane to Mexico, D.F.

the New York man, searching for his “latin lover”

no Spanish in his yankee vocabulary,

curing a hangover with a mar-gar-it-ah,

memorable.

the taxi driver who took me to my return airport,

promised me “nada es imposible”.

demasiados adioses.

the stars of Santiago city lights shimmering

along with my tears, crying together in solemnity

as Soda Stereo filled my ears,

knowing I had not meant to leave.

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