Italy in April

For my mom, who died 19 years ago today …

The slate gray steps are steep, cracked, and winding. The walkways and streets often indistinguishable from each other until a car appears behind me, simultaneously impatient and in my way.

Italians young and old smoke in the alley outside my open window, in the moments between bites of bread, just before they catch the train, just after their last cigarette.

They own so much of history. Centuries of veined marble and carved wood, hand-cut pasta and home-stewed tomatoes, gold leaf foliage and fleshy oil-painted women of the night, faded fresco bambinos who grew up to be a savior.

I on the other hand hope to be a passing moment, never to be revered and restored for the masses. Let my image and narrative rest when my bones and organs finally need to. May I not live on as anything more than the energy I can return to the soil, the seas, and their eternally devoted stars. Amen.


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