There will have been grief in the home country–
Parents’ long divorce, a grandfather’s slow death.
And among the burials and separations, there will have been
Familiarities and comforts to take leave of, or pack
For travel into Germany. There will have been
The German comforts of punctual trains, kaffee und kuchen,
Weekly flowers in a crackled glass vase,
American Time, and German streets, a marriage.
In Florence at Easter there were bells billowing the air,
And the light laying itself against walls,
Like a lover’s hand resting against the swell of a woman’s hip.
For years after Florence
I dreamt through the streets of an Italian city,
Touching what the light touched, praying.
In Florence I lay my palms against the stones.