Marcela Sulak

The Ninth Floor in Caracas

In the streets below Draghitza's body
rain baubles the yellowish-brown light—

her body's wet and slick as street
and brown between the window slats—it's rain-

ing and the pipes groan porque.
                                        She turns off
the faucet, reaches for the soap, suds

leave her hands and slide the way
stolen bulbs of light slide
                                        (on electrical lines

diverted through the mountainside
barrios, where it also rains,

puddling the floor, baby slapping
water and the hair-line cracks of concrete

like the lines around Draghitza's mouth)

                    (I pay for my electricity
                    Franklin says, who lives there).
It´s raining

on her bright breasts, it´s raining on her belly
down her thighs; the people below are wet

with stolen light.
                        No umbrellas
strew their colors —it's too hard

for that—but dogs quiver under lumber
busses splash the same

sloppy syllable across each sidewalk,
the metro opens its mouth, the balcony

becomes a cup.
                    The faucet won't turn off. The soap,
the soap has fallen and her body, slick

is shining.
                    Draghitza shakes some water
drops from her fingertips, she blurs

in latent steam, is lost in surfeit
sharpens and blurs again.

She has fingerprints and large hands.
She tastes slightly of metal and of sea.

She is always smaller in person
than we expect and more
                                        than we remember.