Scaffolding in Spain

 

talking to the

halal restaurant owner

behind the hostel

 

bartering phrases of

pitiful arabic for

directions to the

 

nearest liquor store

peach schnapps

scaffolding

 

outside the window

perfectly positioned

for climbing

 

fate conspires

for us to binge on

sickly sweet booze

 

in the playground

child safety padding

conveniently muffling

 

staggering footsteps

circularly passing

the cadmium bottle

 

sat on seesaws &

slides drizzling

sounds as i fell

 

asleep on your

bed listening to

singer-songwriters

 

folk musicians

the sound of sitar

in the backdrop

 

puerto del sol

 

free shots for

foreigners

get in the taxi

 

5am

flight the next day

avoiding contact

 

on the plane ride

cold pane of the window

pressed against my face

 

the discomfort

of an unlocked tray

atop my knees

 

as i write to you in pieces

 

napkin scraps

and backs of

tourist maps

 

they’ve been

in an envelope

ever since

 

Tariq Adely is a writer and literary translator based in Providence, Rhode Island. His translations of contemporary Peruvian poetry have appeared in Aldus, a Journal of Translation.

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