I heard them marching through the streets of Madrid, at midnight, under the first floor moonlight as you sang me songs strung from their souls, men marching a million miles away, a million years away from the momentary memory we were making, your fingers stroking the strings I’d pulled too tight on the guitar now clutched to your chest like I had been, or you on mine (I recall only feeling with fleeting time, not the practicalities of posture or position).

I heard them marching upon the melody you were making, like the music we had just made that would never be bright enough to linger on into lyrics, but you brought them from your history into my home beneath a still shouldering moonlight straddled on the first floor; a shining witness to the totality of our all and nothing, to how much closer we were getting and how much more like strangers we had become.

I took your cigarettes to my lips and watched the smoke burn to a whisper in the fading light of our afterglow and wondered how your words (more meaty than meaningful after midnight) could stick so to the softening skin, like my sweat and your scent, afterwards, after we’d come and before you’d left me humming a song from streets I’d never known but could taste on the tip of my tongue like something familiar, once favoured, long since forgotten.

Might marches upon steaming streets,
melodies make moments beneath the moon,
memory is often all we can hope for.


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