Three-fingers, summer brown,
she gathers grated parmesan,
scatters over pasta.

Fifth Avenue, Fifty-first, St. Peter’s:
we smoothed our hands over holy stone wall,
found hollow scoops like mother of pearl.

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

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

She’d left him before she left him
(ring not-yet returned). For nine
weeks we ripped, ate ceviche

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

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

She never did marry him.
She returned.
But it was my turn/time.

Eurail solo,
passport stamped,
I rutted right through Europe.


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), and the poetry collection The Standing Eight (FLP). 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. For more, please visit