I wrote this about a year before I met the girl of my dreams. I was in college, surrounded by late nights of drinking tea and studying geography books. I was fascinated with the city of Cordoba, and horribly lonely as I imagined who my love would one day be.
I’d love to take my wife to see Cordoba some day.
I gazed across the cobblestone street, focused on the hurdy-gurdy beggar.
The silver coin in his cup danced with him, winking.
I drummed my fingers, half-eager, half-anxious, against my third cup of tea,
still dreaming. I still asked words almost on my lips, “Who is she?”
The woman of my dreams sifts through my perceptions
and becomes as real as my bones, smiling a gentle blush,
fingering the handle of her cup, porcelain, still with a sip or two
of chocolate in the bottom.
“So how do you like Cordoba?”
“I’m glad you came.”
“I’m glad to be here.”
“How was your flight?”
“I hardly remember it.”
Every word meant more than was spoken, and as
we drank the morning in that Cordovan cafe,
“Daniel” on the record player, every second in her eyes caressed me.
I placed my folded hands on the table in front of my cup.
“I… I don’t know what to say.”
She reached for my hands, and I winced inside, hoping she’d not see the scars.
With her hands in mine, I noticed she had them too.
We sat through midday, and watched the children on the streets of Cordoba
play with their smiles and laughter.
We watched the hurdy-gurdy man’s eyes gleam as a stranger would leave
a coin and a nod and walk on.
We talked about our pasts, and our futures, and our dreams. We watched midday to afternoon, and saw fathers coming home from the tannery. The hurdy-gurdy man packed up and bought a sandwich from his beggar’s fortune. The sun dipped deep to slumber and the moon blotted out the stars.
“Well, I have to leave now.”
After a soft kiss, and a squeeze of my hands,
she sifted back through my perceptions and
returned to that corner of my heart where she is always.
I push my chair under the table, and walk
down the empty streets of Cordoba, humming “Daniel”,
and drop a coin for the hurdy-gurdy man to find tomorrow.