With three fingers
she gathers grated parmesan,
drops it over my linguine.

Once, in St. Peter’s, we noticed
the back wall had an indentation
like mother of pearl stone.

Did you remember me when
you traveled to Florence
to meet his parents?

She washes her hands,
says they saw all
the pretty sights.

She’d left him before she
left him. For eight weeks
we ripped, ate ceviche

pickled and raw, drank
wine, vodka in bars
or stairs in front of brownstones.

Then I carried her boxes
to the post office, Norway
and a number the last line.

She never did marry him.
She came back.
But it was my time.

I travelled and got
my passport stamped and
met so much.


Adam Berlin

Adam Berlin

Adam Berlin is the author four novels, including Belmondo Style (St. Martin’s Press/winner of The Publishing Triangle’s Ferro-Grumley Award) and Both Members of the Club (Texas A&M University Consortium Press/winner of the Clay Reynolds Novella Prize). He teaches writing at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City and co-edits the litmag J Journal: New Writing on Justice. His poetry collection The Standing Eight (Finishing Line Press) comes out this fall.