Tuscany 2019
by Sharmagne Leland-St. John

When she hears the gate click
she knows he's home—
it's too late for the mail carrier,

no one else ever calls
without an invitation
or a request for the same

and they don't
really know anyone
here in Porta Romana

Everyone they know
lives on the other side of the river
closer to the centre of town

the dog pricks her ears
and belts out one huffy baritone bark
then lapses back into slumber

She jumps up, straightens the bed
so he won't think
she's been sleeping all day

He's early
He must have bummed a ride
or caught the short bus up the hill

She wonders what she'll do
when he's gone
He's been talking about leaving


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