An afternoon at the museu de modern arte, Salvador

I had a really nice afternoon venturing out on my own into the city to find the museum of modern art, wandering into churches and treating myself to pancake. I’ve been writing more since travelling and here is what I wrote today: 

I find myself at the edge of the water,
sitting in the sun,
Where high rises overlook pink, yellow and green rundown houses,
Built into the side of the motorway, above the sea.
Teenagers float in the pale, turquoise of the water.
It’s the day my legs become a mystery to me in their new smoothness.

It is a Tuesday afternoon in Salvador,
The police are a regular sight,
Couple’s kiss and pose by the sunlit sea,
While well turned out women are being pulled somewhere.
Curly haired boys sing snatches of songs I don’t understand,
while street vendors play Marilina Mendoca,
that song of longing, heartache and Brazil.

I often think of you like this.
Wishing you were here to lean against,
To kiss your cheek.
To feel your arm around my shoulder.
Should I have kissed you more?
To make up for all the times,
I’d want to,
but be too far;
too confused;
and too uncertain of everything.
Except my name,
my fears and
the hair removed to symbolise my attractiveness.
Clippings of fingernails,
Curved moons of eyebrow hair,
Straight,stubbly,shiny hair of legs,
Rinsed down plugholes, emptied into bins and flicked into nowhere-ness.

The blue tourist bus moves through the city above on the ridge,
More teenagers jump fearlessly into the water,
The well dressed ladies glide past again on their jaunt.
The guards come to watch lasciviously or
maybe to break the monotony the teens that grow in number,
The boys swim out to a tethered yellow boat,
Calling the others to join them.
I sweat,
My carefully washed hair now piled in a messy bundle at my nape.
I speak little Portuguese and,
I’m thousands of miles from anyone who knows my heart.

It is ten past three,
the clouds have dimmed the 100 watt beam of the sun.
I walk past a crumbling building,
Three brown skinned men in navy blue t-shirts,
stand in three empty window frames each 7 feet high on the top floor,
Looking down.

It’s now four thirty,
by night fall we’ll follow the drums in the cobbled streets,
Dancing until we no longer know our name’s,
our fears,
or our uncertainties.

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