? SLAB | Sound & Literary Art Book

Issue 12


Donna Pucciani


There was a time
we loved suitcases. Our young bodies
hiked in whatever city
had a train station. No thought
of fatigue, obstreperous bowels
or a bad knee.

But now the plane has landed,
and we shuffle through long lines
that never existed before. We hoist
luggage from the merry-go-round.
For the first time in all our journeys,
we are glad to return. We admit this
with some reluctance, shoulders aching
from hauling overstuffed bags.

Our house is unfashionable,
modest, the yard speckled
with weeds, the furniture
ghosted with a thin layer
of dust, sighing and settling.

We have slept in attic apartments
in Rome, up a hundred steps in Florence,
mosquitoes humming in our ears
all night from the Arno. We have seen
the Tiber, the Pope, and a tower
that leans but never falls.

But here at home,
dandelions breathe puffballs
in the brightening wind,
the plumbing works,
our brains relax into
a blunt Anglo-Saxon tongue,
and a coffee pot waits.