Dawn. Waiting for you at the café
among the whitewashed posadas. Shadows stir
with dim awakenings.
I have chosen for you
a miniature sea of white
chowder. Tentacles sapped of color cling to the spoon
submerged in the white bowl.
I have a small fever.
Noon. The stunned face of the inn wavers
with heat. Behind its wall, our spavined bed. In the bowl
limpets float like wan knuckles.
When I want
my hands to unclasp, they won’t.
Footsteps ring near. My skin tenses. Sweating through
his shirt, the waiter says,
There’s no more water.
Fever grips me. I ask him to leave
the bowl. I know what’s left is no good. With a gesture
he clears bowl, spoon, cloth.
¿Qué más? he asks.
Once, you cut your palm vaulting a white wall
to pinch a spray of bougainvillea.
I can’t say what else—
only that red sprig vacillating in your hands
echoes through the street.