To Buenos Aires

Te echo de menos, Amor de Verano—

Even if I struggle to speak of three days 

We spent in love strolling across 

Summer afternoons in Italy and France 

In t-shirts and gym shorts, still I 

Whisper your name beneath blankets 

Of strangers. We lay on the grass behind

Gardens of roses and flowers of metal,

recounting rude and abstract birds, and

Only now on the opposite side

Of this lake, I see how far apart 

We are. To keep myself from giving

In to shallow odes or sonnets, I sing

Of Santiago and nights downtown over

Cobblestone roads, roughed up and unpredictable 

In length and meter. Choosing to speak

Of one-way streets like cartographers

Instead of dancing down sidewalks

The way everyday lovers would.

Let me quietly sing to a city in bloom

Under a tree while the sky grows pale

And the white grass bows beneath us.

Y yo a tí, también. Just as you arrived, 

you left; I hear these words in

Your imagined voice. I remember it all—

In a language that wrestles my tongue 

Into knots like the violent touching of mouths 

When something foreign invades 

The heart like army, implodes with the 

Force of the Argentine sun, dries

Up my throat and pins me down to

The earth, that which now makes me feel

Beloved and nauseated,

Hidden and celebrated.

Beneath my shirt, your handprint— a ghost,

A souvenir of words that we never spoke.

I cannot avoid how I feel for you, 

Amor de Verano, even if calling 

You by this name fails to capture 

How I’ve felt about the past three days;

Still, I gaze at your picture affixed

To the final page of my passport. 

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