early morning sunshine greets me
when the drapes open and i stand
teetering on the edge of the balcony.
we sleep three in a room and this
French house is home to me.
cobblestone streets grate under
my flip flops but i'm focused on
the wind blowing my hair
and my lips moving in this
my skirt is too short for this country
and i'm self-conscious.
when i meet him we kiss on the cheek
and i wonder if the perfume
is too bold for this culture.
he touches my arm and i shiver.
unlocking the door, we three girls
go back inside, leaving him to go home
before the sun goes down.
getting ready is a trial of propriety
i wear my corona tanktop and
too-tight jeans, stepping onto the
balcony just as dusk descends.
we do makeup rushed,
eyeliner smeared in dark lines
and lip gloss shining in the
bright bathroom lights.
the streets are emptying of the cars
and headlights blind us when we slither
down the alleyways.
there's one hundred steps down the hill,
from here to music blasting salvation.
i think we'll make it just in time.
the black doors open wide for us.
the bass line rips through my chest and
i can't stop moving, even if i tried.
there's a new boy grinding on the table.
i stare and he looks back. smirking, i climb up
to melt into him.
noone notices how close we are and his
milk chocolate skin blurs into mine.
we trade names, memory, and a kiss that lasts
two Madonna songs, and something techno that
leaves me gasping for air.
his hands hold me together and i can't pass out
just yet, even though my eyes are heavy with alcohol.
my foot bleeds from a broken bottle
but i can't feel anything but him.
my head on his shoulder, we sway to the music
like the strobe lights don't exist, like this moment
could last forever.
i ask him for a cigarette to smoke before i leave him
to go back to my real home. because it's a pack
later, and i need to buy some more menthol nicotine.
i need an addiction that won't disappear with
my hangover tomorrow morning.
(guillome, he says his name is. guillome, i whisper
into his ear. and then i leave him to wonder.)