a childhood friend
Remember what our townspeople say
of those who leave and never come back?
"They've crossed the river of forgetfulness,"
as if the new world were the other world!
But I did come back, and not in dreams
or messages coded into creaking floors.
Came back, and miracle of miracles,
found you the same, us the same.
We took long walks again along the road
that curves out of town into the pine grove.
We drank from the mountain spring,
the water so cold our sinuses hurt,
we filled bottles and demijohns.
Back in the places we now call home,
my quiet tree-lined street, your apartment
overlooking the avenue, so different
from the narrow winding vícoli of our childhood,
the centro storico of both of our lives,
I find it hard to believe you're three-thousand miles
out of reach with less than a day between us.
Which time, which place is the dream?
I feel light as a shade, made of fog.