I.
The middle-aged Russian,
bare-and-barrel-chested,
asleep in the bed next to me
in a hostel in Lisbon
screams at midnight
about his lost passport
clutched in his hand like a Bible.

II.
4 AM. 2nd date. 2 long-empty wine bottles
stand like rooks on the table
guarding nothing but trepidation.
You in pajamas, tired in all but eyes
sitting across your own living room ask,
What now? And I say,
I don’t know.

III.
A man sitting outside a metro stair
shouting in triplet time,
Como podes ver? Como podes ver?
And the people passing as if
it were not a legitimate question.

IV.
Skin touching skin touching
coarse sheets on a bed
meant for two and finally feeling whole.

V.
Eight separate men
peddling illegal marijuana
in the same crowded plaza.

VI.
Te quero hushed by
a shared pillow
and unheard by your dormant ears.

VII.
A woman falls four times,
spastic joints crashing against asphalt,
in a street flooded with
New Years-buzzed adults.
Eleven cell phones
that don’t dial 112.

VIII.
Unable to sleep, I brew
tea and watch sunlight
reignite the cityscape.
I wear your pajamas. I tuck legs
beneath me on your couch,
and you, whose existence
was unknown a week ago, sleep
in your bed still, tranquil.
The steam warms my fingers
and I wish for rain.

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