on leaving Spain.

by Caroline Graham

I remember
The cayenne pepper and saffron on
My tongue from afternoon paella,
Bringing new spice to my words.

The lull of siesta
Buzzing up the faded yellow walls
Of the alley outside my window,
Muffled by ribbons of clotheslines.

Hasta Luego, we would say.
See you again.
The blending of the words,
The fluidity.

They romanced me,
They taught me,
My tongue rolled and arched,
A new dance between my lips.

My ears discovered
The music of language,
Mundane words became palabras,
Everything made beautiful.

But early this manana
There was no time
For café con leche.
It was American coffee in the Airport.

There were no more
Hasta Luegos,
Only adios.

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