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Twelve doors along the guildhouses of Bruxelles
shut to the tune of Cinderella Suite. A week passed.
I stepped away one, two stones for a coffee, and you evaporated.

School children carried gelato onto the light rail.
School children in their cardigans, who might have
held my hands, never needed mothering.
I think they rise everyday to comb their own hair
and then get lost, happily. This is Roma.

I remember the swinging doors of a pizzaria.
In four hours I remember the day sold out, in pieces, by calling card vendors.
The Scalinata de Spagna, a shop's raw-silk turquoise scarves.
Narrowing night kicked in the streets. You curled into a helpless
question mark on the bed, as if you'd lied to my mother.
As if I'd succumbed in the night to pneumonia.

I saw fear's watermark still pressed into your eyes,
tabs of street grime still on your knuckles.

Our small yellow walls had caved around you.
The bed's center had resigned, cup-shaped,
waiting to collect your grief.

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