July 20, 2005, Madrid
Little more than a six-letter word
on a globe for some twenty years
is what you were. And then I walked
for hours and hours that
sweltering first day. In you
I have felt lonely and most
alive. From one of your cafés I hear
jackhammers, horns. Your pages
are open and spread on marble,
El País giving news of the living
the dead: a first marriage (you’re
suddenly the freest place
on earth); London burying her own.
That morning, a year ago,
waking to radio reports of your
a hint of what you are rose
in me. Calls, e-mails, calls.
More than any other
visit these years, I see
that you are not, really,
part of my past.