A Spanish Sailor Lost Inland

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
When you see someone on a train, a tube, in the street, wherever and something about them just grabs your attention and fascinates you...that's what this is about for me - people watching. When you make up crazy stories about their life from a tiny detail, the narrator clearly has a wild imagination but no confidence to actually talk.

I'd love to hear your interpretations and criticisms! Thanks for reading.

Submitted: August 24, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 24, 2012




He sits across from you in your ballet shoes, his feet tap, the carriage shakes

A shopping bag in his hand - red wine and a meal for two

His hair falling gracefully, just like he hadn’t tried at all

Eyes like almonds, deep and dark. An eternity buried right beside

That smile. Or a smirk? Witty, eloquent without words

He could kill you with just a glance, a flash of that mysterious grin

His skin shimmers in the golden glow, a Spanish sailor lost inland


You’re wondering; does his breath go steamy on Parisian nights?

Does he have a lover? Does he miss her? What’s her name?

How long has he been travelling? Where’s he going now?

 Is disappearing a lifestyle for him as well?

You’re staring right through him, losing yourself in his imaginary life...


He wraps up warm on those frozen nights; scarf, beret, woollen coat

His breath turning to misty smoke under the bright lights of Paris

The mist spirals in fantasy patterns, a dragon playing with emotions

She saw him across the bridge one December night, drawing her like artists do

Thought he was smoking, she asked him for a light


Her name was Marie; she had auburn hair that curled like a fire

She left him in June for a violinist busker, only because he never told her

He loved her. He didn’t have the courage, he misses the scent

Of her hair in the morning, how she’d hang his paintings in her flat

And her lyrical laughter as they walked hand in hand

Through crunchy crimson leaves in Buttes-Chaumont

How they’d fall asleep with the window wide open

And synchronise their breathing without saying a word


She left a note; “Je suis désolée, je t’aime” on that day in June

And he ran away with a backpack of memories and €100 to his name

He’s been running ever since, he ran to Vienna at first

Beautiful women, and beautiful men, seemed to take away his pain

He travelled the seven seas, craving the addiction of anonymity

Only a city could give him, and the love he could only pay for


He’s come back to Paris, take the metro to the end of the line

He’s heading off for London in the morning, one last night to dream by the Seine

London’s where I’m going too, to sell my sketches of love to French tourists

He’s staring through me into the ocean-like void, I know he wouldn’t care

The train's jarring to a halt, as does my temporary infatuation, or fantasy

Whichever, it doesn’t matter. Just as a dove would signal peace, it remains

Unimportant and lost in a head full of worries – but he’s looking so closely

Into the glass behind me I expect.

© Copyright 2018 Eilidh Hart. All rights reserved.

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