excerpts from "Cherries in the Afternoon"

chair in one spot bar another. letting the wind do the lifting. she's "mad" but not care-
less. to be voyaged. sand people. noise. the drizzling the sun forced on her gladly. let-
ting someone know how hot not by a look but by a finger. little boy talking in to the
beach trash can and his grandmother shouting everything to christo. walking out in the
water the waves were slow. they did what waves did, they rode. all day to find the
night and much later to dream it. safety has its breath on me. i was up before i could
speak. kept distance until crossing it reaches you. fashion is fast. red vespa, she un-
locked some towels. coming close with words. when the eye moved what else went. so
what you write, the adriatic counter. ovaling around blue the hemisphere was on its
side showing off. full moon as we walked looking for piazza tripoli standing on the
street so red it was low it was the sun it was grazie stracciatèlla. sitting on the bench
waiting for the burning and the hash for the sigaretta. she thought of it and had time
to look at the stars. she got to know them secretly, intimately while eating, after
watching the salt which later became eye contact. somehow cherries in water and vino
laughing, enrico said vai. low how we both full crazy. eyes that carry cheeks, pink
sweatshirt, sunburnt right ear. needing to be understood and i was when the moon was
red. when i took the straw and made the motion to blow ice cream she calls them sweet
shots, enrico's jacket, after cioccolàta on borsa, he made the sign to die for. the beauty's
gone dark. wind misses softly. no fume. walking with other people you can lounge. so i
flipped and we sat kicked wind now, next to wine bar and where she tried on taffetas.
the sky was making a mistake. rented a bicycle where she could see travel waiting.
what i see in the distance is a rash of blue. what i see in the distance isn't what i feel in
the distance. picked out of spark. mangiare gusto. do they offer their bodies the way
they do sigarettas. he left the table dirty so people would know i hadn't been alone.
smoking it down she still has an hour to go. garlando jade sandals.

he was sifts of powder gone lightly over. the day was open yet quiet this morning i
called it closed maybe private, it let me in, it would let anyone in if they knew the
way and his red bike didn't stand out because he didn't rev, collar out of sweater grip
on bars a bit of warmth settled on neck or was it yesterday's warmth. cowboy eyes.
something small being done. the pink villa. bringing the beach chair into the bar. que
fait. what are you drinking. yellow clouds. a pitcher of water for daniella pernod. and
ice. softer tongue relaxed over shells. 4 sections of water to boil, al dente. giving 3 little
girls lipstick, lara, marzia and sonia. sweet faces doing ciao. bougainvillea by the fire.
all the borders see cactus. the grill. melanzane. salsiccia. earlier pizza. arrived 3 of us
the silver bike. we made light and had a blanket. when marco leaned to the left i fluc-
tuated the right. off the bike, the night, her pensione family was harboring so you say
buona sera and walk past and then after going upstairs you realize the bathroom light
isn't working, no luce. so you go down and the mama is behind the espresso and she
ayayayays and 5 minutes later the light is on. a warm stretch in the tub. putting the
melon on. putting the melon on was giving herself away. the wind was beginning to
hurt. when i got up from the chair once marco said i moved like an american. the blue
truck could go off the road because he was the water. we all take our wind collecting.
she's a marine girl and should be careful picking cherries.


Susan Roberts

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