Stromboli - Poem by Gabriel Moreno
We watched the flames leap out of the muzzle and took them for a sign,
unfathomable, totalizing, spectral,
baby lights dancing into the evening sky.
You looked at me and swore your working days were done,
I shall be a poet and a drunk, you said, lifting your cup to the stars,
the world will sponsor me to never give up.
But I knew it was the wine that got to you that night.
The next morning, as we ferried away from the black island of Stromboli,
only awkwardness and guilt emanated from the wells of your eyes.
You spoke like a disheartened Romeo ready to join the army of the rational mind.
In the distance the volcano and its crown of fire had begun to fade
from black and red to a blurry pale mass of unsubstantial colours.
You took my hand and asked me to save you from your heart swerves.
Sometimes, you said, I think I’m gonna feel myself into nothingness.
The next time we met you were selling mackerel in a street market in Naples.
You glanced at me from over your shoulder and told me I had changed.
I knew then, at night, when your eyelids falter, you visualise our mountain,
and the vivacity of our desires.
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