She used to believe me,
Riding in dirty buses down the mountains of Santorini,
Having an honest conversation with a dishonest girl,
I thought I was pure,
Her: convoluted and distorted.
But it takes one to know one, they say.
What you thought about me was wrong, she said.
I never believed any of it, I said.
She smiled as if she didn’t believe me.
And with that I looked out the window,
The elevation of the bus descending slow,
Seeing the buildings of the town below,
Their parapets sprouting like the growth of flowers,
And in that powerful image I looked into her eyes,
Pooling with tears like mine,
The sun glistening on her white face,
A trace of light gracing my brown skin,
And she believed me once again.
The next few minutes were held in silence,
Hands held with fingers laced between,
The pace of hearts beating in time,
Tears in her eyes just like mine.
And if that ride taught me anything,
It’s that you may find sweetness in the oddest of places,
In tired, flimsy bones,
In souls jaded,
In eyes that hide the most basic truths,
And hands that stand idle,
While the vices of humankind pull at our minds.