13. Italia

This morning a breakfast burrito on a placemat map

of Italia, coffee as thin as the IV needle in his arm,

blood pulsing into daylight where it doesn’t belong.

He went to Italy, once, for cappuccino, country-surfing

from Annecy in the alps through Geneva and Mount Blanc

in one quick day with a girlfriend long gone, in those years

living in New York on instinct and early slight poems

he’d declaim in any venue, once in the subway corridor

between the Times Square Shuttle and Lex, booming

like Dylan Thomas, but not as drunk, for quarters,

his first book slowly dying. Occupational therapy wants

him to fry two eggs to show he can take care of himself

and not burn down the house. He suggests instead

a frittata, eggs with thin slices of salmon, onion, basil,

tomato, gruyere slow cooked, and the therapist laughs

and hands him a brick of margarine. He slides the cooked

eggs into the trash and she clears him for daily life.

Last night he dreamed he was in a Greek restaurant

where the owner refused to serve him coffee.

He angrily threw a glass of orange juice against the wall

and fled, pursued by Greeks. Woke in a sweat.

Called the CNA to empty his catheter bag, urine

too dark with bits of shredded clot reminding him

that he isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

After breakfast, Caroline leaves for three days on the coast

with her girlfriends, leaving a text kiss :-* on his iPhone.

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