Adventure Contemporary Romance

She awoke, and plugged in the MacBook. The screen lit up, and she opened the file she had to re-check. The old list of pregnancy tips, the one which she once used four years ago when she was pregnant with her first child. James and Paola were, at the outset of this story, about to celebrate their fourth marriage anniversary. They were getting ready to take a short vacation to Naples, and Paola was riddled with a nervousness about the idea of traveling, thinking about her pregnancy. On the way: her second child: on the way to a new life here on planet Earth. The four years which had passed since the marriage were filled with such a wild and inexplicable romance, the stuff of magical and mystical essences combining, filled with the type of romantic extravagance about which one only reads in novels and sees take place in the movies. There had been born, just about seven months after their marriage, a little girl: born the following Spring after the wedding, which had taken place in the Autumn. Their sweet, little daughter was now three and a half years old. The new child's gender, the little angel in utero, was as yet unknown during this short story's promptly outset; yet Paola felt somewhere inside her a deep, motherly knowledge that this, her next child, would be a little boy: another little ray of sunlight.

Upon searching for the file, she saw another, a pdf., which caught her eye. It was a series of five poems which her husband had once sent to her, all those four years ago. He had written them just after they got married, one afternoon, after they had gotten into a fight. The beginning of their marriage had proved itself, though not without some shaky fireworks.

She smiled. His poetry had been published just after the birth of their little girl, yet none of his published legacy contained the personal poems which he would write for her from time to time, personal poems like the little pdf. which she opened after reading the pregnancy tips a few times over.

The pdf. file filled the MacBook screen.

The poet's legacy and the legacy of his Muse.

Her eyes grew large and watery as she let herself be led back into the past. The legacy of his poetry was alive, yes, quaintly and somehow, and he was trying to publish another book of poems at the time of their little trip to Naples. Vague and untouchable thoughts about the past arose in her head as she stared at the open pdf. file. But this little part of it would forever remain hers, she thought, and hers alone.

Hers alone, or so she thought that sunny Sunday afternoon....

Cinque Salviette; or, Five Supposed Romantic Love Poems

written by thy faithful lover

For you, Paola

Grazie Cielo; a poem

I will write

No further

Rancid, ugly poems

Where I unwittingly reference


And her, my wife,

In the same breath- besides this one, of course

Because she does not like Bukowski’s writing

Nor does she like me writing poems

About her

In which, though I write them filled with love and


I also mention Bukowski’s lines

That is not my idea of romantic,

She says

And she’s right

And I love her so

So I’ll write her something

She’ll like

Something like

A poem

About old women

Walking up and down the streets where she, once upon a millennium’s bend, spent part of her adolescence

Saying to each other quietly,

Grazie cielo

Use More Wipes; a poem

Our cats

Wake me up


I’ll learn to live with it

Their poop smells horrible

And sometimes it’s messy

But I clean it without a word, and I enjoy doing these little things for you,

I’m already used to the smell

And I love them

And take care of them

Further Wipes, For My Love; a poem

One doesn’t even notice

One’s shirt is half unbuttoned and untucked

Until one is in town

Eating a meal

At a somewhat busy restaurant

And one

After eating a first bite

Looks down to wipe

The crumbs off of one’s trousers

Thank you, love,

For eating with me

(I had my laptop open, and a picture of you filled the MacBook’s screen)

Thank you, love,

For staying with me

When I spilt my food- messy bites-

And thank you for staying with me

While I noticed the crumby trousers

And the half unbuttoned shirt

And so wiped

And buttoned

And then you called me back

You called me back home

Wiped and well buttoned

And, with a shirt still untucked,


Thank you, love

Bookstore Blues, Libreria News; a poem

Sitting outside

The bookstore

I’m staring at the Italian translation

Of Raymond Carver’s collected poetry

Just got off the phone

With my wife

She’s taking me back

We had a bad fight last night -don’t ask-

Happy tears

Take the passenger-seat

Of my eyes

I look up

From the bench I’m sitting on

The bookstore

“La Picolla Libreria”

Here in the village of Levico

I see books displayed

Including Carver’s translations

In the window

One of them

A children’s picture-book

The cover picture-

A young boy, a few years old,

Holding the hand of his Grandma

His Nonna

And, looking at this children’s picture-book

And its cover-picture,

The tears take the wheel

Joyful tears take the driver-seat

Of my heart

And, looking up, I see a cloud

In the shape of a heart

Now, surely

The cloud isn’t very heart-shaped

But, I introspect:

If I ever saw anyone

Who was in the shoes like the ones which I’m wearing now


If I ever saw anyone

Who was experiencing the circumstances which I am now experiencing

Who looked up

And didn’t see a heart-shape

In the clouds,

I’d say they were absolutely crazy

And now I wipe my tears,

Tears of deepfelt joy and gratitude,

On the sleeve of my shirt

As two old women pass

Walking along the cobblestones

By the bookstore window

They are saying

To each other

As they watch me in my bittersweet and bench-ridden melancholy,

Grazie cielo


I haven’t a clue

I don’t know who their God is

But after speaking to my wife on the phone

I’ve been thanking mine

Grazie cielo,

Says the American in Italy

On the melancholy bench

As he has deep thoughts about

His future children

And his wife

And their life together

One More Poem; a poem

Children play

Outside the bookstore

I hear them playing

I’m about to leave

I’m almost on my way home

To you

The children outside the bookstore, they’re chanting the word ‘Mami’

As I purchase Carver’s poetry at the register

And me,

I’m on my way back to you

Back to you

And that germoglio

Who sprouted in your perfect womb

At the perfect time

In the perfect place

On the perfect planet

In the perfect country

With the perfect people

All under a perfect sun

Children play

Outside the bookstore

And I’m on my way home

Back to you, love


….Years after James’ poetic legacy had died, well into the second half of the 23rd Century- well after his words had spurred on poetic inspirations in the hearts of many and opened the eyes of many and then died and faded out of existence- the little poems he wrote for his beloved Muse, his Paola, would end up living on, as she would have then passed them on, would have passed them on as her legacy, first to her daughter, and her daughter would have passed them on to her daughter, and her daughter would have by then passed them on further, and so on, the long life of the story of a family’s beginning, with an end nowhere in sight.

September 13, 2021 13:00

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Delia Strange
23:12 Sep 22, 2021

A warm and heart-filled story. This particular stanza grabbed me as my standout favourite; Happy tears Take the passenger-seat Of my eyes Cheers! :)


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17:01 Sep 13, 2021

This is profound and lovely. Thank you so much for sharing your talent :)


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