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

beautiful language.



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

and prettiness.



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.)