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an ode to Roma/the last toast

to rome and my romans,
let’s start off the night with pasta carbonara
bacchus can help us with the wine pairing.
toast about a thousand times to stelle e luna
be careful not to drink too much (again).

eat and chatter
chatter and eat
while the sun sets, casting a golden highlight over the plates
set down your wine glasses and dessert forks and phones
make the stuffed stomach stroll to our gravel spot

there you will find a wonder cabinet of items
to ensure our version of a Roman night:
one smuggled vodka bottle, a misplaced hair tie,
a pair of feet without shoes, and one hostage guitar.

we strum and sing louder than the searing cicadas
forcing them to hum along.

the whirlwind of acoustic covers and hearty laughs gently dim
as pairs are picked off by midnight’s hushed lullabies.
soon only a few are left to fill the wind
with stories from last week or poems in the works.

before you know it, dusk has arrived.
watch as the sun comes up through your tired eyes
and the whispering leaves tickle our smiles.

despite wishing with all your might,
we are no longer in Roma
and this toast is just
a symptom of your crazed Roman withdrawals.
your own attempt to preserve
a memory

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