These are the days of jasmine in Rome
when headlong, emboldened April has dissolved,

and the joyous braiding of sun and rain
brings this sweet, steady broadcast;

when I step from the suppertime train,
that’s what greets me:

Roman hedges and walkways,
graffiti-laden precincts graced

with pallid fireworks, so even
the most tumbledown niches seem

festive now with fragrance

Jasmine    the elating moment’s shibboleth,
the cool, enrapturing night’s cavalry

Even crone-glorious Daria,
my terrace-loving neighbor, confides:

When Galliano came back from the front,
his right hand was bandaged,

but in his injured one,
ah, poet, he held

a fistful of jasmine he’d picked
along the path to my door.

How could I not become his wife?


From The Gospel according to Wild Indigo (Southern Illinois University Press, 2018) by Cyrus Cassells. Copyright © 2018 by Cyrus Cassells. Used with the permission of the author.