Neruda’s Grammar School Crush
He whispers, “muñeca” with lips too young
to grow a moustache or quote the manifesto.
While Nicanor was guessing her underwear color,
Pablito saw shells curled in her hair,
spume weeping on caramelized skin,
love that foams and love
that pulls back in deadly undercurrents.
Even then his sad gaze transformed everything.
She waves him goodbye for the summer like seaweed
fluttering over a drowned sailor’s cheek.