Up there with bad betrayals, which are all bad,
the worst to the self, I left mine with the elegant hotel
concierge in Dubrovnik I had no trouble warming up to,
except the lobby was somewhere in the middle of the place,
so you never knew until you had passed through it.
I left the unorthodox sandals I wore to your wedding,
such a terrible infraction! Oy Gevalt! A Shande!
as the bridal hairpins and cocktail fell from my hands
(se me cayeran) in the Ladies’ where I rubbed
my weak ankle and heel all part of the bum leg
I left behind by the toilet with the pull-down chain.
On the last day in Vienna I dodged my character assassin
on the same cobblestone you tripped over, occasioning
a visit to a clinic specifically dedicated to fractures,
within the humane socialized medicine of Austria! Such luck!
Though regretful for you, was it the middle finger?
You were never the same after Vienna. In Prague,
the expert, yet large cast made you drop the monocle
we’d purchased on the bench beside the statue of Kafka
where we had sausages across the plaza.
At night I remembered I’d forgotten the photos I bought
on the street in Croatia, of the flowers strangers left
on makeshift altars to virginal icons in abandoned foyers during the war.
They have the entire coast after all, no wonder they fought!
We fought over the kitsch purple-striped carpet at the hotel
in Split as I wanted to return to the understated Dubrovnik
hotel of the enigmatic lobby, where we slept for twelve hours.
Once, I left you on the Connecticut coast and returned to Barcelona,
for the seafood. You begged me to stay but my sister’s adopted
in-laws kept gaining and when they collectively sat
on the couch they catapulted me from the other end
directly into the airport, where I left my androgynous haircut in a mirror.
They shook me down in security, and Duye, that’s Peter in Croatian,
also, my brother’s name, whose facts remain in the autopsy his mother
refused to open. Duye explained to the officers up my ass
that I’d been essentially reared an orphan, and freed me.
I left his mother, who may have been mine, the crib I slept in
till five by her stone slab. Didn’t I care that she’d passed?
I cried one drop, which I left on my cheek in wax
like a Spanish statue of the Virgin of whatever town you visit.
I forgot the Via Spiga suede high heels at my aunt’s wake,
the most beautifully expensive shoes I ever fetishized.
They felt like silk on my remaining foot, though eventually
they would pinch and felt I didn’t deserve them,
so, like a fool I handed them down
to my spiteful cousins who betrayed me every chance they could.
Somehow or other I did not lose empathy, and tucked it
into the casket’s innermost satin cushioning, and peeked
at Duye’s pale lips for the last time. I recalled he died in a foreign
language, and during the twelve-hour sleep he was driving
us in a black Mercedes along the Aegean. I tossed a golem
statuette into the bobbing sunlit limestone lapping waves.
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