Suzanne Grove


You say, I want Spain.
My aunt traveled there each fall before she died.
She made lists—
Things I like: baseball; heavy sweaters; Granada.

Black out in the afternoons.
Clara: pucker and bubble.
Una más, una más, una más.
That sounds nice, you say. I’ll go there.

We hear it on the radio: farmers dying by suicide.
Your dad works seven days each week outside
in the cornstalk lean that leads to the front door.
Back-strap and bacon fat.
Yet, you’re waiting for a plane ride.

Waiting to ask for calamares a la Romana
and a draught.

To ask for directions and names of
good art, good people, good restaurants.
Define good.

Your mother hung a yellowing Velázquez
print on the dining room wall when you were seven.
You’ll call it inspiration.  

You say, I’d like to take a nice girl.
Define nice.

You’ll make her ask for the fresh prawns,
sizzling—all oil and garlic and chilies.
She’ll call herself fluent because for
eight years she curled her tongue in new ways,
the bright petal of it pushing against her teeth.
In truth, she doesn’t remember how to ask for directions
to the bathroom.

Travel alone, your father says.
His thumbnail is missing and he’s
sweating through his T-shirt.
In the barn, there’s a damp rot smell
that no one can find.

Go, go, he says.
Take photos; I’ve never been.

Your college degree cost them a few comforts.

Go, go

You won’t wonder where that smell is coming from
when you’re at the table too small for your long legs.
You’ll be chewing and drinking and calling out:
Una más, una más, una más.


Suzanne Grove is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and studied professional writing at Robert Morris University, where she received the J. Stanton Carson Grant for Excellence in Writing. She has published a variety of travel writing pieces, a textbook essay, and poetry. She recently entered her second term serving as a reader for CRAFT literary magazine and finds joy in helping others to publish their work. She is currently in the research phase of a new novel.