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the Sabine town

I had wanted to say more before about the sounds

on the winding streets of the little Sabine town

at this time of the evening; the fumbling voices

carried high by the big acoustics, interspersed

by the fired exclamation – the careless drawl

of high Latium, the meaning of which lies

in the delivery, not the words, which is just as well.

Anyway the recoil is tremendous, and my memory

of it like stone, and the spaces between stone,

the voices dissipating as they rise to the high

open sky like a veritable Tower of Babel.

Later, the silences, heavy doors, the drill

of a pitch-perfect Lambretta;  later still

the ill-defined silences, the scraping of furniture,

footsteps shuffling, a cough; and a fit of laughter

between the high walls rises, falls; and turns

intricate corners to me. I stop to take it in;

resume, thru the old town, out the castle walls

and up the main drag toward the northern suburbs –

a good walk on a natural high of pills and liqueur.


I remember with fondness now my mother’s apartment,

the small east-facing balcony with a long view

of the resplendent Apennines. After she died

I slept in her bed for two weeks, and cleared out.


9 October 2015

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