She’d leave me in a motel room, toy tipper truck
and a dream of the ocean for company
as she perched on barstools, whispered
sweet Spanish nothings
into the ears of the fattest wallets,

skin the colour of Demerara
for the luckiest man in crocodile shoes,
glowing salsa putting the sunset to shame,
she’d drown her eyes in absinthe
and wait for rescue;

she’d leave me with senor Delgado, who’d croon
to Dean Martin records, show me
the handgun under his bed.
I dreamt of school and friends
while she was slapping the face

of a good-for-nothing senator,
scarlet bellflower in her lapel, poker
with the boys and when her luck was out
she’d find the moon crushed to powder,
snort its lines and lift back to the heavens;

she’d leave me shaking Tabasco
onto fish fresh from the docks, dogsbody
in Marguerite’s restaurant, washing up,
waiting tables, dreaming of girls and pesetas.
El Carnaval,
hair like lava plumes,
out-dragging the drag queens, jade stilettos
and a dress slithered around her, they’d samba
along the Avenida de los Santos,
she’d pout into the arms of a photographer friend,

beg him to make her a star
as the sky shattered
with the dynamite of colour, rocketry and cannon.
Next morning I trailed through debris,
stepping over a dud firework

soaked in Camino rain.

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