Italy. I’m still half there. Wandering around a little aimlessly, sun-flattened, that feeling you get when it’s so hot, when you have to calm everything inside just to breathe. I have the view from our house just inside my eyelids and that tarmac aniseed smell from the fields of wild fennel lodged in my nostrils.
I want to cover my sitting room walls with frescoes, replace the roof with a Brunelleschi dome and fill my garden with olive trees and naked sculpted alabaster.
Enough fantasising. I wrote a lot of words in Italy, not all coherent. But this is ok.
Is this sleek green eel my boy?
Swimming through diamond-cut pool water to me
hair streaming as sea weed.
The same who swam from me waxed and bloodied
on that plastic hospital bed
with the speed of soap slipped from wet hands
his blue lipped face unfolding in air,
his hands starfished wanting to feel,
his skin pleated in fleshfolds on his thighs and groin.
His body is browned now by strong Tuscan sun.
Long-limbed and hard-muscled
his arms stretched and silvered in water.
He breaks the surface at my feet
and gasps hot aniseed air.