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Emma Harding


Sala de Espera  


The swamp light of the cheap hotel

has followed us here 

to a small hours waiting room

in the middle of a soupy nowhere 

for a dawn bus that may or may not exist

(my phrasebook Spanish not entirely to be trusted).


Stiff-backed on plastic chairs

we’re alone in the brackish night

the insistent outside skulking at the open door, 

air thick with mist from the banana plantations,

small shadows scuttering past our feet,

somewhere the screak of a murderous bird.  


You disappear to the Gents

which must be many strip-lit corridors away

for you are gone and gone and gone

and the plastic sweats beneath my thighs.

In the half light, a man with studded shoes

steps into the humming doorway.

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