Sacro Bosco

Megan Fernandes
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After you left, I put on the Pixies,

lit a cigarette and looked out at the rain

on the slate rooftops of Lazio, grey, riddled

with satellites and slanted, orange cranes,

imagined you ascending, shakily,

into a ring of black clouds and thought

of yesterday’s sky, blue and bare, stretching

over a park of monsters, where we read Jack’s poems

to each other, pausing, roused, while the bronze

hands of Ceres cupped a cobweb like a secret fate,

metal meeting silk, a long-dead sculptor

with a spider’s frown. We made no eye contact all day,

kept staring ahead, as if a film were playing

in the near distance, captivating, and easier

to look at because it had nothing to do with us.

Walking home, dark city, along the river, unsteady in my heels

like a drunk gazelle, I heard you say take my arm.

And in the morning, you went down

the stairs, paused, then said I love you,

and when I didn’t answer, you turned, tall, suited

in a stiff jacket, green-eyed, insisted I say it back,

standing firm, more stern than I have ever heard

you, thrilling, and so I said it, impish, then weak,

and kept saying it at the top of the landing

even after you closed the heavy door

and wound down five flights, unable to stop.

I recovered like the pro that I am.

I had the whole apartment to myself.

I had the whole city, cast for my suffering.

Black cloud. Rain. Smoke. Woody smell.

I caught my flight. I changed this poem.

I rode home.

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