In Rome

January 25, 2011

I show my passport to an unsmiling
guardian who waves me through,
cross the border in silence.

The light falls somewhere else.

I cast no shadow as
One foot
then another
takes me towards the Centre
of the former empire that built roads.

Calvin Harris is in my ears and he gets all the girls
while my “I’ll be there soon” shoots out into the ether to
prime her embrace

Soon our lips will feel unfamiliar again,
and I will still smell her on my hands while
she
carries my bite marks back to the land
of beer and lawmakers

My dog barks in my memory.
I want to close my eyes
But the view allows only for wonders
as time
stands still,
while people exclaim and exclaim,
over coffee and wine and statues and houses and roads
that carry the weight of our photos,
and the fountains that swallow our coins

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16 Responses to “In Rome”

  1. wkkortas said

    While I have never been myself, people I know who have been to Rome say the sense of history and antiquity is palpable almost to the point of being overbearing. There is some of that feeling here: the customs official is a “guardian”, the photos bear a “weight”, and the fountains “swallow” coins. The sense of this weighty history is played off nightly against the modern and temporary (the DJ, the one-off). As an added bonus, the piece is well-paced, and well-built. The final stanza is as fine a bit of writing as I have read in some time.

  2. Claudia said

    hi anton, very multi layered poem. i like how history, memory and real life flow together and i like the light and shadow play. great line “the light falls somewhere else”
    as time stands still – that’s the feeling while reading this poem, wrapped in history and much more

  3. You already know I think one is masterful!

  4. brian said

    gorgeous write…wishes in fountains to bring you back together…nice on teh bite marks…smiles.

  5. Chris G. said

    “When in Rome…” A place I would very much love to visit one day. Interesting piece – in how it mixes modern commentary with reflections and memory, visions of sights and sounds that have come and gone, and those that yet await. Subtle hints of passion, too, with lines like “carries my bite marks back to the land
    of beer and lawmakers”…and what a land it must be.

  6. ~Sarah~ said

    I love the layers too. I thought I knew where it was going, then switch, then switch, then switch.

    And Calvin Harris, well…… you won me over.

  7. Intense and titillating… oh those coins in the fountain… I have a poem called In Rome as well, in my book. One doesn’t dare ask if this is autobiographical…but…?? Seriously, a wonderful read! xxxj

  8. hedgewitch said

    Man, that was good. More than a travelogue, even a travelogue of love, but a complete journey in itself and capture of the moments, actions and symbols that comprise our lives. A great pleasure to read.

  9. forpuck said

    Thank you very much for the kind words everybody. It’s a bit hard to write these days, so the support is warmly received.

  10. Ah Roma…you take me back to “Three Coins in a Fountian”…and “Roman Holiday”…and back, thank you for taking me there…to Rome…bkm

  11. All the usual nice stuff I say about your work. in short: excellent.

  12. hollyheir said

    I like this; you captured it. The glory that was and the mystery and weirdness that is. Seems it hasn’t changed in a year. Hope you had fun nonetheless; enjoyed seeing you in London so much. Thank you for being there.
    Gay

  13. This is you at your best.

  14. You struck some magic with this one, my friend. The last two stanzas gave me a knot in my stomach.

  15. Maxine said

    I love ‘the land of beer and lawmakers’ – so unlikely, yet so apt, a combination!

  16. siubhan said

    “I want to close my eyes
    But the view allows only for wonders” really says “Rome” to me like no other place. A lot of tight lines here, tho; wonderfully put overall.

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