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Finding love in Merida



We get into her small hotel room, fresh with the smell of bad plumbing and incense.
We sit there together discussing Spanish in broken Spanish on her squeaky bed.
A tall candle burns Mother Mary’s face on the window sill.
”You always say ,que onda, to me, what does that mean?” I say to her.
She shows me in the dictionary as leans over with her smile “onda”;
-how wonderful-what ripples-what waves-
I look at her neck her lips “ugh, que onda” I say as she leans over.
I feel like a child again marble-mouthed, don’t know what to say.
Her Caribbean eyes bright like midday.
I want to attack her kiss her stay all night.
But I don’t get the right vibe,
I don’t get a bad one,
but I don’t get the right one.
Reluctantly I say “I, ah, better get going, we’ve got buses to catch in the morning,”
Hoping she might stop me.
We end up saying our good-byes.
Like we’ll see each other again we quickly hug
and I plunge back into the silent streets damp with a nights mist.
-Renata, Renata, over and over in my head Renata-
-Ill never see her again, never get a chance to touch those lips.
I look up a couple streets ahead,
the flickering street light spreads out across the empty wet street.
It starts to sprinkle and through my head goes Renata.
Walking back to my hotel -what the hell am I going to do?-
I don’t want to stay here in Merida, people are crazy-
the best part about this town is leaving tomorrow morning.
Thank god I met Renata I would hate Merida.
-you’re never going to see her again, I think to myself
and my heart sinks and starts to swing its arms.
The moonlight spills out its loneliness further on down the street.
And there I truly feel Merida’s darkness.
I turn around and march back to her hotel.
Rolling the hamster mill of what to say round and round in my head.
Past the dark storefronts and the sleeping dogs I race heart head and feet.
Each block seems twice as long, my heart locomotive pounding.
I walk past the guy at the desk, past his Spanish late night TV and little smirk.
I knock on her door and stand there under the buzzing bug light zapping.
It seems like an eternity passes in front of her big blue door.
I hear the neighbor come and go.
I knock again, my hair dripping with rain,
my thoughts racing as fast as my heart and she opens the door.
I fumble over everything romantic, spill out everything wrong.
blah blah blahing shivering.
“You saved me out there” I say to her,
and she leans over, our eyes blur,
we start kissing crazy,
her hands through my hair.
and after a few minutes, there, wrapped in each other,
“you saved me too, I was so lonely” she says her hands through my hair.
We kiss again.
Finally those big lips, “ugh, que onda”.
She stops.
“I have a plane to catch tomorrow, its four o’clock”.
She kisses me again.
“I just had to come back” I say,
“I’d better go then”.
We hug, say good-bye
and I plunge back into the streets.
Head home to my high cracked ceilings and pad locked quiet.
The rain finished with itself.
Exhausted, I go around scooping up the street and moonlight
that’s spilled out on the rainy streets of Merida.

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