Who are you?
Once, in an angular concrete hotel in Antibes,
you stood before the black curtain
with the massive sunlight on the other side
and a heartbeat in your chest.
You reached up, then dropped your hands.
You tapped your hands on your naked hips.
You reached up again and pulled the curtains wide.
You looked several stories down
on an empty round swimming pool
in a square of concrete
surrounded by vacant recliners.
The city grumbled in the background.
There was no one to see you.
You thought for a while,
then got dressed, and joined
your family for breakfast.
Now you're older, and it's traditional.
You undress smoothly, then drag
the curtains open briskly, and look down
inquiringly on the scene below.
Different hotel, different swimming pool,
These ones have people on them.
You study them like a seasoned pro.
The hotel is called the Hotel Hurricane
and the pool is surrounded by tall palm trees.
The window you appear in is arched, Moorish.
Some people are in the opposite role,
always on a recliner, looking up at glass.
Chancers. Because you never know.
The figure who never appeared
in one hotel might be waiting in another.
In Tarifa, perhaps?
You are such a person.
Look to your right and left.
The innocent are snoring,
mouths open in the sun.
You scan the windows.
Some of us are on the desk, always,
next to a bowl of complimentary mints, and the people
who pass through pay more attention to the mints.
Our suits are polyester. We might be
from one of the old families of Jaffa,
and you wouldn’t know.
In Palma where the avenues are flat and wide
and the tiled roofs and wiry trees
catch the light and the breeze off the sea
it is easy to have two jobs, teaching
Yoga one day, volleyball the next.
Your neighbourhood is called Gentilico.
Your lessons take place on the beach
called Playa Ciudad Jardín.
Your teaching pays for you to sit in a blue kaftan
on the balcony of your house, with one of your proteges
giving you head, grateful for your hand in their hair.
Or you could always be one of those people
who stands outside a particular house in the evening,
and one of the residents walks out to meet you,
and gives you paper money, and you pass them
a little bag and walk away calmly. You’re in direct
sight of the customs office and you don’t care.
From the little ferry port below, the white ships pass
from Lemnos to Samothrace and Mytilene.