I am in the city of verdure. It is not your city, and never was.  It was once mine, yet it's your ghost that haunts me now instead of any specter of my former self. My hotel room is voluminous. There are 3 full closets.  You could be, who knows, hiding in any one of them. Why not? Is that any more implausible than the fact that I am unable to imagine myself here without you? I go for a run and return to my room expecting to find you napping in the bed. A happy reversal for me as long as it ends in the same result: you and I entwined in smooth sheets, returning to each other from a place we've never gone, back to a home we've never had.

The saddest, most pathetic truth is that, earlier, when I lay in this generic bed alone, I couldn't bring myself to climax without imagining you professing your love. My baby, my baby, you say plaintively, I am fucking you, I make you say; but it's only when you say, over and over, I love you, I love you, that I can surrender. These words stand in the place of the dirtiest talk imaginable. Come inside me and declare your love, declare my love, my love. This is what I must imagine, eyes and curtains shut tight against the sun and all other sources of light. There is no other way.

And I look and look for you once my eyes re-open. You are not in the bed, not in any closet. There is nothing more brutal than this awakening, nothing more seductive than this loss of place, this here that is anywhere. Any place is desired if you inhabit it.