Ceviché

Wed 24 January 1996
By John Mark Schofield in Poetry

You sat next to me on the bus
like a panther on the hunt;
licking your lips at my taste:
musty and stale like money
but it was sweet to you.

Your tastes were familiar;
but different
than the women
I had known.

Spicy with citrus tang
like the ceviché
you introduced me to
at the restaurant
I would never have discovered.

Ceviché is raw fish
soaked in spicy lemon.
I ordered it later
at the seaside restaurant
I found on my own.
Sick for a week from that meal.

We took the bus to the beach –
ordered coconuts overpriced
milk and meat from
fresh-split shell.
Sweet and tangy like you.

I left you in Colima.
I left before you discovered that
not all Americans are rich.
I left without saying goodbye.