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Portofino

According to legend, the promontory
of Portofino is the farthest frontier of the living,
from which can be seen the Island of the Blessed.

Guida all’Italia lengendaria (1971)

When it blows
in the neighbourhood
there are breakers.
Clouds surround
your parterred garden.

Beautiful women fill
the car-park: the best wait
tables in the staff cafeteria,
Together or separate?
– That’s what they say

while the festive try to etch
their smiles on your face.
Yet you will slip a fish-hook
through your lower lip,
one for every night

you are apart from ‘her’.
Your apartment is empty;
the stars are unsighted.
Is this light accidental?
Her belly swells with angels.

April 2000, Dublin Street, Lyttelton

 


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