Published on Academy of American Poets (


in rome I got down among the weeds and tiny perfumed
flowers like eyeballs dabbed in blood and the big ruins
said do it my way pal while starlings
kept offering show biz solutions and well the vatican
pursued its interests the palm trees like singular affidavits
the wind succinct and the mountains painted blue
just before dawn accelerated at the last point
of departure before the big illuminated structures
dug up from the basement got going and I ate crostatas
for breakfast and on the terrace chatted
with the clay-faced old man next door and said I was
after a woman who’d left me years ago and he said lord aren’t we all.


Copyright © 2014 by Charlie Smith. Used with permission of the author.

About this Poem

“A crostata is a piece of hard toast covered with tasty edibles (cheese, olives, tomatoes, mushrooms or whatever you like) and eaten at a meal or as a snack after you return to your apartment from a rendezvous on the Capitoline Hill or anywhere else.”
—Charlie Smith


Charlie Smith

Born on June 27, 1947 in Moultrie, Georgia, Charlie Smith is the author of several collections of poems, including Red Roads, which was selected for the National Poetry Series

Date Published: 2014-10-20

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