I whispered your name
into the cracks between
each stone that paves the way
through the street maze of Madrid.
Here’s how I did it–
I ducked down every dead end,
retraced my steps, Google maps, casual
cartography, charmed past bouncers up sticky
stairways to the top floor VIP balcony
of the nightclub, looked til I had the whole lay
of the land. I squinted up into the faces
of darkened dancing strangers to yell
“Hola, do you know where I can find this guy?”
On the street with all the scraps
of your creased soft letters, poems,
folded into tiny squares,
stanzas for the last time,
I stuck them deep inside the city’s secret caverns,
hidden places, crevasses, at each unfamiliar cross
of shadowed golden alleys. I tucked them all along
the thin and spongy sidewalks. I dropped them smooth
into the gutters.
They’ll never make their way out.
As you would have known and knew,
mourning should be conducted
as privately and as quietly
as a barefoot child
sneaking tiptoe against the grain
of a cold maple floor.
It is also governed by what you see others do.
How shall I properly mourn you?
Should I drop in on the Sofia
to ask Picasso how you felt
during your blue phase?
Stroll to the Sol
to ask Tio Pepe
for directions to Madison Ave?
Bum 10 euro
off the 4 a.m. Westin bellman
for the cigarette machine,
to the chambermaid?
I should have swept
right past you as you sat
in the center.
I should have grabbed
your hand to take off running
from the maze.