The men who run our hostel
have sleepy eyes and charge for everything:
blankets, laundry, internet.
They never take a day off
expect us to entertain them
like awkward party guests.
We hear them breathing
the movement of their thoughts
as they sit for hours in front of the small tv
flip-flops shuffling on tile floor
I lay in bed drinking
boxed sangria well past noon.
I am not Picasso
I can’t turn a woman
into a thousand inside-out birds.
I grew up on corn, hard work, regret.
We flew across the moody Atlantic
eager to tame our longing, blue and rose.
After three weeks we are sunburned
feet blistered from walking cobbled streets.
At night we watch hordes of English boys
get drunk in fake Irish pubs.
In the hazy afternoon
we spiral up to fairytale Park Güell
perched in purple hills, filled
with pushing teenagers
from every country in the world.
Climb 2,000 steps to see the city spread
beneath us, breathless, laced with fog
hurried catch of minds
falling away to the sea .
In that dreamy darkness
none can avoid
we find our humid longing
impossible to repair, a mosaic
tender beneath our flesh
a treasure we cannot lose.