Bodies bronzed and steaming with the scorch
of a Turkish sun, skin cells fizzing,

we lugged suitcases filled with still-damp
swimsuits, dirty laundry, broken shells.

Longing for the cool touch of clean bed sheets,
I shut my eyes, let the world drop dead –

Your familiar lips touched mine, warm,
shaping words urging me to look.

It sat square on the dresser, Queenlike,
gleaming black and rusted at the edges,

its circular keys magnets to my fingertips,
awake and itching to touch its smooth surface.

Red ribbon spooled into reels, a silent
cassette player, imprinted, still, with old hymns.

I gathered my words like a spider spins its web,
stencilled inky letters into the tired ribbon,

and with every clunk – clunk – clunk –
spread our story across starched paper.