In O'Curruncho with Mark and Emma

A bit like when I was a child

when I watched people reading

—I caressed the insides

of my arms,

loving inwardness—

I’m watching

the rolling

of a cigarette

by the stranger

who has just asked Emma

for some tobacco

and stands there at the table

rolling it in silence.


(The poem is from my second book, Santiago Sketches. The bar is in Santiago de Compostela, on Rúa de Entremuros, 12, the street where my friend Tony Shiplee used to live.)