After the Fiesta de San Fermín
we drove up from Pamplona
to Laredo and slept together that night
on the beach
where the ebb is so extreme that
in the morning it looked as though
the ocean had disappeared.
I can still see you lying there
at dawn, dozing,
as satisfied and indifferent
as a pub cat.
That afternoon we drove up to
see the ancient paintings
on the low ceiling of the Altamira Caves,
handsome, sinewy deer,
bulls, and horses, their muscles
contoured by the stone.
There were no men in the pictures,
so I convinced myself that the artist was a woman.
We crawled in on all fours,
like the beasts above us,
and in turn lay on a rock worn smooth
by thousands of tourists
and one great artist.
I remember lying there and looking up
and, near the charging bull,
seeing her tiny hand print,
her signature in ochre,
the only thing left of her now.
I reached up through time
and placed my hand on hers
and wished that I could be that close to you.