In some half-imagined scene of mine,
perhaps in a sunlit piazza in Trieste,
I am thinking deeply of you again.
It seemed the kind of life we wanted.
Sipping wine on a terrace,
you in a bright ochre corridor of light
with a foreign phrasebook on your lap.
I squint in memory of some lines —
“Mai piu ritonerai, mai piu”, which sound
like the begging of all good years left in me,
to return no more, no more to you.
Why these lines have loitered
half-heeded in my throat,
no one can say.
Not in this wind-haunted seaport,
where the afternoon stretches on,
marked only by long shadows.
The old starry-eyed Italians like Galileo
were feted for mapping point to point.
Then why did I want to be re-discovered by you
in this cobbled square,
when I caught in a lowered gaze,
that piazza really meant insurrection,
Eugene Ong is interested in city planning, architectural heritage and photography. His photographs on housing estates have appeared in <<联合早报>>. He has co-authored a book on Singapore's vanished public housing estates and his writing has appeared in Asian Cha and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore. Visit his website for more information.
The Ekphrastic Review
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