A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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September 2009, vol 5 no 3

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Ruth Holzer


Via dei Fiori

You lived in a spacious apartment on the top floor with a view toward the pines of the Palatine, while I had a room nearby that was smaller than a closet. Days and nights I spent with you as you painted, consoling you for the loss, temporary as it turned out, of your one true love. But some nights you’d warn me not to come. I’d suffer through hours of jealousy and show up early the next morning with a bunch of flowers fresh from the market. Someone would be at the table in the yellow bathrobe I considered mine, drinking espresso and trying to appear nonchalant. Before too long, you’d get rid of whoever it was and things would go back to normal. I could rely on you for anything: a place to stay, money whenever you had it, glasses of fiery cognac, a ride to Fiumicino.

the slap of cards
in an all-night bar

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