Garlic and roast tomatoes


Shutters close; a scooter creeps through the square

steering its way around the hilltop.


A drinking man says he’s found a dead dog

by the river. You look up and smile.


Someone tells him to leave be, it’s an omen.

The barman laughs, pours our wine,


unfurls umbrellas, moves tables into the shade

near the kitchen, where garlic and roast tomatoes


mix with cigarette smoke from our neighbour,

almost asleep in the sun. The noon bell rings.


You take my hand, brush it with your lips.

Like that time in Santa Croce,


we lit a candle near Michelangelo’s tomb,

outside boys shouted, kicking a ball against the walls.


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