When I was thirty-four I dialled your number again
sitting on a curb in the Spanish village of Nerja,
in the bright afternoon sun.
But when you answered there were awkward silences.
You said you had lost your English,
and I had to wonder if it was true.
You had a wife now, and even children, I think:
it would be convenient to lose your English.
I sighed. My Spanish wasn’t up to much.
And although I understood your request for me to
remember you to my cousin, it wasn’t
enough to hold a conversation.
It felt late, so very very late, that afternoon in a village in Spain,
there was only a bar open behind me
as the siesta snored on. I
t felt very very late
as I pressed the end call button
and sighed into the autumn air.
(First published on African Writing Online)