08-16-07| 2:57 pm

I am reading Pablo Neruda's love poems. My mind recites the spanish reverently, even as my eyes skim the translations. Corazon. Beso. Amor.

The man sleeping next to me is Spanish. I do not love him. We are casually involved. I can say this without anxiety. Giant steps.

To him the poem is the same. Spanish, English. Bilinguality fascinates me. 'You're understanding two things at once,' I tell him. He looks at me. Slipping into another language is as natural to him as breathing. I eavesdrop on his conversations, waiting to hear an English word slip in, stubbornly unable to be translated.

Beso. Lips to mine. I do not love him, not like I love words or poetry or translations. We are only casually involved.