The hotel’s pink stucco façade –
faded from age and sun and inattention –
guards the narrow street.
Four Americans crawl
from a blue Ford
pushing their way through air
glutinous from just-ended rain.
Crossing the desolate lobby
to a jacaranda-shaded veranda
they sit on dented red chairs
drink tepid Coca Cola through paper straws
eat pineapple pan dulce.
a languid river creeps past
its thick water the same color as the pastry.
© 2003 Melinda Green Harvey