Xu Smith

Hotel Terremar

“a fusion of wind, sea, light and rock…empty moonscapes,
odd-shaped rocks and barren shoreline.”
The Lonely Planet Guide
to Catalunya & the Costa Brava

The season of biting flies struck Hotel Terremar
near the sunset upon the sea. The great white shell felt empty.
There was a haunted cruise ship quality,
a spirit of long absence, of doomed romance.
We found ourselves waiting in familiar discomfort,
in the vault of all eventualities.
The moon rose or simply turned with full attention,
faded and palatial or a thing cruelly modern.
There sits some final part of us locked in a suite,
in one of the many storied eyes and underbites of balconies.
Storms brew and fade, and we go about our dream
business under a moon blurred beautifully, sightseeing.
The moon-dried clothes smelled different. No spice, no verdure.
They smelled white. I washed them in the sink at midnight,
my linen trousers, his shirt, spread them in a sleeping pose
over the balcony chaise. Was it still blue, the sea?
Moon in its throne at the end of a platinum carpet.
By morning the clothes were stiff and dry. I held them to my cheek.
The trousers felt different, strange walking in the sun.
He was pale under his shirt, fading around the neck.
He felt our vacation coming to an end. The charming town stifled him.
He wished for a rental car and looked beyond the bright empty hills
where buses slither toward the easternmost tip of Cap de Creus.
I must describe before we leave at the next sunrise
boats in herds asleep on their anchors in the moon of Cadaqués.
How row after row of breakwater suck their tongues at midnight.
How the clouds crept over us every summer night, and the breezes darkened
with fried sausage, lemon verbena, exhaust and malathion.

© 2008 Electronic Poetry Review