Carmelo Militano


Snow is like a handwritten note
— Jim Johnstone


snow falls like an irrelevant argument
backed by a fact called wind
impossible to stand on the balcony
compare the distant early morning light on the horizon
to a purple and red watermark
blank paper a version of what is on the ground
waits for handwriting
rush-hour traffic moves forward
wants to be depth psychology
start a whole new school on another route
no longer able say if I am happy or not
another day has begun





I had forgotten about the old war between Apollo and
Dionysus when I walked over the bridge to the Pitti Palace
where you waited alone by the hedges
in the Boboli Garden
the sound of crushed gravel under your boots
menacing it was January
your Loden coat collar up against the wind
you looked smiled cigarette poised
like a foreign agent on the Moscow platform
the mission dangerous, the outcome uncertain
Or maybe it was fashion that held you
a Truffaut kind of day full of black and white stills
except for the red tiles of Il Duomo against a gray doom
We walked talked about what I don’t remember
it felt like another French film
the camera now swept the rooftops
distant blue mountains, brief close-up of the Arno
metallic and grey with a patch of sunlight
the view from the garden so damn pretty
romantic and everything still that morning
You loved being a stranger to yourself
I was there for another cameo
accompany the slip sound of you in the pensione’s hallway
in the middle of the night complaining I had not
yet tried to kiss you, that you had to pee
annoyed we were strangers
and replied by holding the bathroom door
open to make your point
Letters eventually arrived
a phone call from New York, a final one from Vienna
slow tedious traffic of a Sunday morning in February
the statues in the Piazza della Signoria
caught indifferent to weather and pigeons.




Carmelo Militano is a poet & writer. He won the F.G. Bressani Award for
poetry in 2004 for his collection Ariadne’s Thread. His novel
Sebastiano’s Vine was short-listed for the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction in
2014. His latest work is a poetry collection Morning After You (Ekstasis
Editions, 2014).

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