Spanish Sky
Out of the cyprus
bounced a peeled onion,
out of clipped hedge
fell an Anjou pear.
How will I ever learn to greet you in Spanish
if, whenever I enter your cardboard house,
you aren’t there?

As the letter “G” in Gracias
formed its untimate request
the “O” concealed the loop I made
just before I became your guest.
Oh, how will I ever learn to see you,
if, whenever I enter your room,
you aren’t there?

In the order of our arrival,
in the order of our seated requests,
I was first served a Mexican omelette
without chopped onion,
then, to top it off, an Anjou pear.
But how will I ever learn to feel you,
if, whenever I enter your bed,
you aren’t there?

As I tried to recall your face,
the letter “N” fell softly into place
like an Anjou pear that had long ago lost its taste.
But I really wouldn’t know what to do or say
if, when I next open your door,
I find that you have not chosen to delay
the letter “E” in the short word
I would endlessly like to stay.

Walter Abish is the author of Double Vision, an autobiographical account published by Knopf.