A letter, una carta
In stilted Spanish, no–
I had to ask you the word for longing.
I’m losing it, you’d say.
Te vas a perder todo.
And it’s cold there now.
It’s August.
The sun is down at 4:30.
But, in the mornings,
You watch it rise on the river,
El rio de la plata.

You said because of the river
The cold gets inside your bones.
“Adentro” means more than inside.
But, what exactly?

The ivy on the church
On Ricardo Gutierrez y Salta
(La esquina, I’d say
De Guti-err-ez y Salta
to cab drivers, taxistas.)
It’s grey vines on a brick wall now.
It won’t peek green till October.

I missed my old October then–
The jazz of crisp air,
Leaves, warm color falling.
I cried for it even,
Watching the church turn bud green
From the dining room table.
The jacarandas on the plaza;
There were parakeets
Escaped from somewhere,
You said, gone wild.

But, it’s still winter there.
Making cold the days as they pass.
You’ll ride your bike down by the river
Wearing the wool scarf I gave you
And your bright yellow jacket.
You’ll drink chocolate candy bars
Melting in frothed milk,
And rub your hands together–

Para Vos

Karla Sutton