And you’re smoking on some balcony
Leaning over on your left arm
I’m here on the rug with a kalimotxo in hand
Laughing at the bickering in the bathroom
Wondering which of my tanks is least creased
And whether the rest will dry in the heat

It’s the smell that defines tonight
At least the way I remember it
All of you in linen and shorts
Clamouring to get hairstyles just right
Making sure to show just the right amount of skin
Spritzing perfumes until the bottles are empty
As if each drop is what makes us dance

Woody, smokey,
The room lights up with smiles and teeth
All full of fillings and chips and movement
And when I catch myself in the mirror with a double take
You shoot me a knowing glance and a nod
And from behind me comes another cold spray
That drags me right back to the hotel room

It’s what the goths used to wear
That’s what I’m told, but none of us care
They didn’t, after all
And with that we’re slinging bags over bodies
Making sure the doors are locked, key cards safe
For once I don’t stop to ponder midriffs
More focused on fitting four of us in a lift
And putting my back to the reflection

Deep, polarising notes
Our rowdy tiny group of men like a cloud of smog on foreign streets
Each with a laugh you’d pick out from another room
Drowning out the rest of the world
So much we don’t notice the awkward first dates
Or the old men and their gauloises on high chairs
And tonight I don’t seek polished silver sports cars
But faded hatchbacks

Now the scent is changing
The club, stuffed with bodies, all wet, strong and plastic
Our group like little ants from the street
But we’re inside, dancing anyway
Barely able to see
Then when I’m slipping, weak, and can’t breathe
You reach into a shoulder bag
And with one quick mist from an atomiser
The familiar herb remakes your shapes
Clad in pleather before me

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