Pouring out the Mediterranean morning
with my muddy espresso in the garden,
as the sun dripped down
through the gaps in the orange trees.
A wayward Fauve had apparently
once been a Roman house painter,
given the bright blue and yellow
buildings of our neighbors. Most days
a mysterious dark skinny woman,
à la Modigliani, hangs out equally
colorful underwear from a high balcony.
I might myself stand on my yellow chair
to grab one of our blood red oranges—
a perfect romance in Rome? No, I admit
that the garden was no Eden,
that the Fauve needed to touch up a place
or two—the apartment walls grew
black penicillin. I had to sue
the padrone di casa.
I did notice, though, that the best oranges
came from the most withered tree—
you have to suffer to be beautiful and all that.
But this view, too, has its limits:
the padrone (no sage) says the tree
(like me) has a year or two to produce.
~ Jeffrey D. Boldt
Jeffrey D. Boldt has published more than 100 short stories, poems, and essays. His work has appeared in The Wallace Stevens Journal, Blueline, RE: AL, Berkeley Poetry Review, Tikkun, Great River Review and Seems, among others. He has a short story forthcoming in The MacGuffin, an essay and poem forthcoming in an anthology on Fernando Pessoa and a poem forthcoming in The J Journal.
Featured artwork by Zil-e-Batool