The neurologist gives us permission

to go to Rome: Live your lives.
We order cocktail shrimp at the hotel bar, 
fries with a parmesan snow. The waiter fills 
our flutes to the brim & we swim 
in the golden liquid & sink into the leather sofa,
the delights so cliché the cliché the delight 
we sing along & avoid eye contact 
with the lounge singer: sha-la-la-la-la 
two brown-eyed girls in love 
dark lipstick on the rim of the glass
& the lounge singer starts Lady in Red 
& we swoon & people around us eat their olives 
from shallow dishes & we order dessert 
to keep the night going, to keep 
the sweetness in our mouths

Copyright © 2024 by Seema Reza. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 21, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.