but spain was my savior with potato chips on every table and savory sweet beers and bitter cortaditos at every plaza and viejitas saying buenas tardes and viejitos saying anda, que guapa! i did feel good there, sea in the sky and gulls on the ground, bread crumbs and sunflower seeds clotting the cobblestones. freckles abounding. during the sardine festival the fishermen made a huge fire at the beach, the size of a cottage. chairs, the tails of fish, the wooden pegs of pirates, it all went aflame. in the plaza, a dominican samba band played tunes for the people to dance to and a merry-go-round with mickey mouse look-alikes moved slowly, as slowly as a crooked wheel or a frail pigeon.
in spain you see colorful boats reflected while you feel the saline crust form on your forehead after a swim.
not so different than new york, in a way. and that’s why i’ve made my peace.
this is a poem by a poet who i had tea with. his name is jamie mckendrick. he ate all the tiny sandwiches with cream cheese and ham and cucumber and chives inside and i ate the scone in the shape of a big fatty breast, withered and joyful, bosomy, boxomy, with cream and jelly on top. “why aren’t you eating the semifreddo cheesecake?” he asked.