Karen Corinne Herceg © 2015 • Privacy Policy




Miguel Amor,

I see you older now,

a family man,

the lawyer you had said you would become,

defending criminals in Madrid,

a place where I have never been, where I imagine a russet sunset

reflecting off wine colored brick houses

as you walk home in the evening.

When I think of Spain

it is black and red:

The bull and the teaser

inviting one another.


Miguel Amor,

I never wanted to become a woman

in young America,

in borrowed cars of unsuspecting fathers,

in a place so close to home.

It’s like a mission, you see,

where a stranger is welcome and fed,

but you never really get to know him.

Do you remember:


There was no wind in Toulon in August.

The road was long from the stone beach

and Mediterranean blue

to the motel of modest rooms

each with lights like votive candles,

an oasis where no one really lives,

a stopping point

where days are long

like the tanned, moist limbs

of languishing nudes.

In the white glare of an afternoon

I watched you stroll up the dirt road

while, straw hat in hand, I fanned the heavy air,

the grass yellow and dry cracking like wheat

between my toes, and

we walked on the beach at dusk,

the sand becoming dark and musty,

breath, dust and salt air drifting together.

I felt you like a sacrifice,

a frail membrane struggling

on the mild sea air.


Miguel Amor,

at twenty you were a man,

or so it seemed to me,

walking back down the road,

waving promises I did not want you to keep.

And that letter you sent

was really a subtle gratitude,

unnecessary: the crime as hot,

as innocent

as feeling.



First published in INKWELL 2012