I was in Italy once and there was a mask shop.
I was in Italy once and there was a bridge.
I was twenty and wandering the country
like I wandered my mind. The sweat-and-cigarette
packed metro, the stains on the hostel pillow,
even the knife-eyed men calling across alley
came through in soft focus. I filed them away, all under S
for Story. I was in Italy once, and I was sick,
as sick as I've ever been. My throat swelled
and my chest filled with pebbles. My heart clattered
like a roughshod horse if I walked up a flight
of steps. But I ate cheese and bread heartily,
thinking, like Heidi, it would make me strong.
It didn't, but days went by and I forgot, slowly,
the frantic thumping. I was in Italy once and I drank
cooking sherry from a jug. Someone laughed, and I
filed that away, too. I was in Italy once, on a payphone
on a dock on an island. A man approached, and I spoke
the language brokenly, said "phone" and "United
States" and he nodded and stepped back. It was,
inexplicably, my proudest moment. I was in Italy
once and I watched a curtain of pigeons lift
over St. Mark's Square. I thought, I am watching this.
I thought, what a good word: curtain. Later,
I ate tiramisu on the canal and was aware
of doing so. I was always aware of doing so.
In Venice I thought the clouds were mountains
in the distance, and made a note of my foolishness.
Later, I realized they were. I was in Italy once
and thought I could tell my own story.
Catherine Pierce's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Narrative Theory by Catherine Pierce )
- The Little Men, michael walkerjohn
- Furthest Right, michael walkerjohn
- Political Correctness, michael walkerjohn
- Shiva Stotram, umaprosad das
- THE SEASON, michael walkerjohn
- Far away, Gert Strydom
- THE DOMINIS, michael walkerjohn
- Tea dust, Krishna Shivkumar yadav
- Antilegomena, michael walkerjohn
- Sending All My Love, Michael McParland
Poem of the Day
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
William Carlos Williams
(17 September 1883 – 4 March 1963)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
- Heather Burns