i still don’t know how to finish it… maybe it’ll never happen…


i’m sitting at a starbucks in cartagena
enjoying the
kenyan blend
when she walks in

no choice but to notice her
with her deep hazel eyes
with her birth of venus hair
skin specked
with cinnamon
legs from here to there
and perfectly shaped breasts obscured
by the hunch of many years of study

no choice but to notice her
to notice her
turning on her heel
and leaving as soon as she’d stepped in
(overwhelmed, no doubt, by the exoticism of the coffee and lifestyle shoppe)

i’m expelled
i leave
i follow her across the way

she makes her way into a columbian-only cafe–i loiter outside
with my iced mocha 20-ouncer melting in the humid wind
into a steamy hot-cold puddle…

i drifted in and out of consciousness all flight from kennedy
one third world to the next

we flew via salt lake city for some reason
maybe to make some sort of a socio-political point

in my stupour, i was seated next to a french couple with one finger missing
who read buffalo-bedecked lonely
planet guidebooks
entitled “ouest americain pour les westmans et les greenhorns”

they were en route to missoula and such
as european tourists are oft wont to do

the flight was otherwise fully filled with men in bad 80s shoulder-pad power-suits
–those never came back, did they?–
many refused their $2 headphones
but laughed nonetheless at Robin Williams’
slapstick mishaps with a recreational vehicle
–it was reassuring to know that the mortal danger on the flickering screens wasn’t going to be actually, you know, MORTAL.

right after the pablum, and to add to the psychedelia of the warped in-fuselage entertainment/stupefication
the besieged and besotted captive audience received a salt-lick doggie treat

on, onto our trays

along with the unrequited love of enriched white flour crackers

and newspaper page-boy-like urgings to purchase
montreal nosebleeds!
we got ’em right here!
get ’em while they’re hot!
montreal nosebleeds!

maybe i was just dreaming
maybe i wasn’t in cartagena at all
but somewhere much worse
like Los Angeles.

maybe she wasn’t real and i was just a jetlag
standing on the hot
pavement like they call it in philadelphia
without my spf 50 pour bébé

too early in the dream for self-analysis, i’m thinking
if this is indeed a dream at all

she saunters out of Little Columbia
as if she had 10 minutes to get across campus

brushes up against me,
(blush, eyelashes and all)
doesn’t notice my not noticing her on purpose
i’m a stranger
and not even a familiar one at that
i want to be upgraded out of coach
i want hot towels, the whole shebang

i stand there frozen
like the 17 1/2 ice cubes i explicitly ordered in my drink
my daily fiber-substitute
my daily parkinson’s

poor choice of strategy
–her stride dissolves her into the chocolate city

i run after her, tap her on the shoulder
ever so lightly

she turns and–