Volume 25, Number 2

Lazy Jazz

The singer hums over a lazy jazz track,
unaware that she’s been dusted off an old mix
you made me two years ago. The chorus asks
me to run away with you. If she’s still singing
on your behalf,             I will come.

I ask that the destination be tropical,
preferably some old Latin American City
with cobblestone roads.

We can find a quaint café,
where the coffee’s just right.

And we can discuss the conundrum of appreciating Spanish architecture
while acknowledging that every stone carries my ancestor’s blood.

To be honest, in this reverie, I imagine us in an argument.
Neither of us will disagree that Old Spanish buildings
are beautiful or that they are a product of genocide.
Instead, we will argue about some obscure aspect
of the conversation, protecting our space, as if
being attacked by foreign invaders.

You’re thinking:             “You write a love poem about us and you can’t,
                                     for this one piece of literature, imagine a world
                                     where we aren’t arguing?”

My response is:             “But I love you.”

And I hope that your eyes do that thing
they do when you hold the line between
argument and making up.

You remain guarded, prepared
to defend yourself against one
of my self-righteous soliloquies.

Since this is my dream,
I choose for us to kiss,
suddenly sorry that we

We continue to walk down
the rolling hills and brick-laden streets
as the sun starts to set.

                                 “Es la puesta del sol!
I exclaim. You smile.

I say,                         “Never leave me.”

You reply,                   “Nunca.

The dream fades into

          lazy inflections over
                    subtle piano massages
                              and gentle guitar strokes—

I love when a singer’s voice seems effortless.

          I want to wake up next to you.

—Victorio Reyes