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Wedding Song

How should I describe you?

It was raining that day, a patch

of skin exposed to the wind, bones

clacking together with each

tremble, hair pressed and plastered

to my forehead, so cold,

milk white the sky, dark and hungry

the trees, hiss of cars against asphalt

and my wet footsteps splattering,

the only voice in Belgrano.

I didn't cry.

No, I didn't cry.

I was laughing, somehow,

your arms around me.

I left my window open last night.

If I told you that now, you would laugh

and I'd show you my mosquito bites

and you'd say, "What can we do about that?"

I barely remember what summer

feels like. Do you?

I made a promise to write things down—

the old man giving out roses

to street vendors, the young father

buying his baby girl a sunflower

from a kiosk, the bus drivers

having a friendly conversation

at a stoplight, the couple

eating an impressive cheese platter

in a park, the border collie

who sat with me in Recoleta, the man

watching his two young sons ride scooters

down the sidewalk, weaving

between pedestrians, occasionally stopping,

waiting for him to catch up, his

wide smile as he peered down at them,

eyes looking like dancing, like singing,

like step one, two, three, and cross,

and back one, two, three, and cross.

Amen for the leaves turning gold in the sun.

Good God, what a beautiful day.

Amen for the words rolling off of my tongue.

Good God, what a beautiful day.

Amen for the grass growing from cracks in the road.

Good God, what a beautiful day.

Amen for how quickly I seem to grow old.

Good God, what a beautiful day.

Palermo looks like a forest

from the right angle. I clench

both my fists and find a place

in the garden, just now beginning

to grow damp with autumn. It

should have been me to signal the bus.

It should have been me feeding

the kittens. It should have been me

singing onstage at the peña. There are

so many things I haven't yet done. Your hands

moving up my spine. It's been so long

since someone touched me. It's alright, I hear you saying,

look how the sky has changed. I look up.

It has.

It has, and I think it's winter now, though I don't know

enough to be able to tell. You hold open the car door for me,

laugh when I thank you. I want to kiss you. I want to kiss you,

your orange hair, your willowy limbs, the way you don't look away. 

I want you to hold me. I want you to remember. I want to

forget some things and learn others, I want to shed fear like

an old skin, I hate it, I hate it, look now, the sky's changing again,

the water's lapping at the dock, I'm tossing my head back

behind a low-hanging branch and finding leaves in my lap,

it's nearly raining again, and I want to kiss you. You touch my cheek

with your lips. Un adios argentino, you say. I only look at you.

There's an airplane below me, but it's so far beneath.

You're smiling; I smile, not quite knowing why.

I see both my eyes in the sheen of your teeth.

Your veins look like highways from here in the sky.

The plains are just shapes here, so orange and brown.

I weep, nearly singing, and drink from my tears.

My breath fogs the window. All I do is look down.

It's night, and I know that my neighbors will hear.

Tengo que mejorarme. Tenés que mejorarte. Who will

wash you when you're sick? Who will pull the covers 

up to your chin? Who will drag open the persianas

in the morning? Who will clean up all your messes?

Who will walk with you when you're old? When you're

groaning? When your bones are all broke and brittle?

Who will laugh at your jokes? Who will listen

to your stories? Who will tell you stories right back?

Who will ghost your neck with their fingers? Who will

dance with you? Who will write you poems? Who will compare

scars with you? They're barely there now, all bumpy

and white. They look

like mine. I've stopped hiding my face from you

when I cry.

I'm not crying today. I won't cry tomorrow. 

The sky is pink over Puerto Madero.

Who will hold your hand and jump

into the river?

And we ran, we ran, we ducked under the war.

You looked like every person that I had ever met.

We came back home too late, and my father locked the door.

"Please say my name again," I said, "I'll die if you forget."

The plane's engine

whirs from inside me.

The absence

of wanting.

A mother sleeping on my right.

Her daughter sleeping on hers.

I cannot close

my eyes.

Did I tell you

that you were in my dream

last night? 

It was yellow. It was blue,

and I was a student. I looked

in the mirror.

I said, "No la conozco."

But you did. And you did. Oh, you did.

Monserrat, the gleaming.

The whole world in excess. I took to one knee

and you grinned. 

Good God, what a beautiful day.

Y si yo viviera acá para siempre

la mañana siempre parecería eterna

y el sol intentaría de volver

y los mosquitos saldrían de las piernas

y dirías, "¿Qué podemos hacer?"

Buenos Aires, ¿qué podemos hacer?

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