New Poems

Let’s Walk Tonight

to Crespiano in the moonlight

along that steep and ancient road

that winds white like a twisted sheet

across the breast of the mountains

down between the village and the town.

The road will forgive our feet for the beating

as long ago it learned patience

pilgrims, merchants, soldiers, gypsies

and animals walked all over it:

it’s still here, but they are gone.

Squadrons of bats will protect us

from mosquitoes while the owl cries ride

on white horses through the trees

and darkness slips over our skin promiscuous

like oil or spilled wine.

When we arrive we’ll have some beer or gelato

the people will toast us for our

failure to understand them

because where we come from

words are emptied once spoken

and the dead will keep us company too

relaxed and free from hope

but listening carefully

and they’ll drink with us also

although their throats are sieves

their stories are simple as trees

that were climbed on by children

who are now old women in the village square

or in the wooden libraries that lie

buried under the world.

They stay until a sudden breeze pours through them

the walls open and wave their pages fretfully

like washing in a storm and and the millions

of leaves in the night mountains

along the road to Crespiano.

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