Pen to Paper: “Parque María Luisa”

Was muddled pond water and scaling wrought-iron fences. Soggy Cruzcampo wrappers and tattered tobacco rollers etched into turf. Groves of orange trees created a hideout of citrus and mint, covering us from the ay guapa and the chica, chica, es su hombre? of town. The checkered blanket stolen from your Señora. A bottle of white hucked against the tree bark, sweet honey dribbling from your half-stacked smile. Parque María Luisa was like watching your parents look at each other across a campfire, like the time we didn’t leave that inn for two full days, like watching your good eye scan your favorite takeout menu. Your sandalwood breath after you’d kiss my earlobes. But maybe I had it all wrong. Maybe there were no orange trees that time of year. Maybe we never existed outside of María Louísa. Maybe it was really that night in March when you never came home or when I deleted your number for good, or when I learned to not flinch every time I heard the words I’m yours in Spanish.     

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