home a safe place to land
   unpublished poetry
from a roman journal
She is listening to Eros Ramazzotti.
The Little Tough Guy Bandaged Hands
Album. She says it reminds her of hot
summers in Italy and along the coasts
of France. I say to her, that were, or those
to come? She answers both & turns the
music up. I turn the conversation down.

July's end is still some distance off.
The sun will not relent, even in morning.
Some boys came by yesterday while I
was still asleep with sleep and dreaming.
I dream too much. I sleep too little.
It is the pasta. It's the wine. The summer
Humming past us to the borderline.

When I got up she was in the yard
playing softball with the tall one and his
older friend who doesn't say much.
I would have joined them but three's
a team, I guess, and four a crowd.
In the mirror I look flushed or sunburnt.
out of sorts. I am, sort of. Some days
I imagine love, just to keep from
screaming Come over Here, Here
I am, to no one in particular.

I wish Bimby hadn't lost the pensione
and gone away. I hear her grousing still
Nothing is permanent in Italy, only the
ruins and the tourists and the taxes. Only
the summers she might have added. Eros
of one kind or some other plays them on.
Some church bells have convinced me
that God is part of all of this. It Could
be so. When I am sleeping on my own,
as I most always am, I am apt to sense
some breathing on the pillow next to
mine. It is the next best thing to arms
around some great pretend.

Maurizio has come up from Naples.
They are laughing in the kitchen fixing
dinner. Lots of extra virgin olive oil, good
greens, artichokes and bottles of red stuff
that's meant to pass for good red wine.
Liberty is useless without pocket money.

My tan line starts just above my elbows
and extends to just below my Adams apple.
Taking your shirt off with so many younger
men around is silly and alas incriminating.
All those too flat bellies, buttons out
with as yet imaginary landscapes
written on them.

Copyright 1998 by Rod McKuen & Stanyan Music Group. All rights
reserved and no part may be reproduced in any form without written
permission of owners.
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