She is being passed around the club
like a lighter; everybody wants to smoke.

When she comes to me,
for the fifth time in fifteen minutes
I decide not to kiss her,
taking her hand instead of placing
my own on her slim waist,
before turning her to a pirouette
and watching her spin.

She comes back around,
with a look of confusion cast
upon her face beneath the strobe lights,
slides her hand to my crotch
and leans in for a kiss,
but I opt out of reciprocating
asking her name into her ear,
using the little Spanish I know.

She takes a step back, frowns,
and then rolls her eyes,
says “Carmen” with a thick accent,
then begins to grind on the man
standing to her right,
shaking her head as is disappointed
by my drunken attempt at chivalry.

My own turn to be confused,
lasting still as I read Prosper Mérimée
on the plane journey home
and think about Spanish women.

Barcelona, May 2017


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