I was looking at some of my old pictures of Italy and there was this amazing outpouring of images that prompted me to put them in words. Of course, there is a a deep cathartic value in this for me, because Italy reminds me of Yat. And there’s this picture that I chanced upon, seeing her in the only way I can, of her in a sunlit terrace in San Gimigiano. And somehow the phrase “as clear as the light of day” seemed so appropriate to my sense of direction, and that I had to wrest some lines from memories that were choking me. So to my dear Yat, to whom some places in the middle of Italy mean little, but mean everything in the world to me…

In some half-imagined scene of mine,
Perhaps in a sunit piazza in Trieste,
I am thinking most deeply of you again.

I squint at these soft lines that say
mai piu ritornerai, mai piu”, which sound like
the begging of all thirty good years of me
to return no more, no more to you.

Why these lines have loitered
Half-heeded in one’s throat, no one can say.
Not in this vast, ruinously classical urban space
Where the Italian afternoon goes on forever,
marked by long shadows.

The old Italians like Galilei and Columbus
were feted for mapping starry-eyed point to point.
Then why did I want to be re-discovered by you
In this cobbled square, when I caught in a lowered gaze,
that piazza really meant insurrection,
not connection.


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