He had found them and saved them for me.
When I arrived, from the other side
of the ocean he gave them to me.
In the mornings we said hello,
in the kitchen, bare feet
on cold stone floors,
we embraced each other awkwardly-
mother and son.
Sometimes we spoke about our dreams.
If I had a nightmare, he asked me not to tell
him what it was about, but shook his head-
we knew that they were frightening.
We both watched words
that dangled from lines,
wanting to believe that they were floating-
instead of being held like marionettes
forced to dance, or put into boxes
like Petrouchka-with secret loves.
At night the bats flew crookedly near
the window, as we watched, on edge
in case one accidentally flew into us.
The skies leaned down,
the backs spasmed from the strain
of holding back storms.
The air was yellow from the bruising,
and the Tuscan landscape rolled in it.
Later when I came back home,
I cut the quills to draw and write