Thu, 03/19/2020 - 1:45pm

From their balconies
in Milano, Roma, Torino, Agrigento, Firenze,
Napoli, Siena, Palermo
the Italians are singing no one sleeps – Nessun Dorma.
With soup spoons they beat out rhythms on pots and pans
for the trumpet player three stories down
or the bassoon-flute duo high across the street.
They wave flags,
lift up their little ones who wave
to friends across thousands
of narrow streets and boulevards
up and down the long, locked-down Italian boot.

They are blowing kisses, hugging and laughing and singing
across that protective distance it’s forbidden to bridge.
So many gossamer cables
cobwebbing the spaces, with love
pinned tight
as freshly washed sheets and shirts
hung up on the line.

              ♦ Emily Rand Breitner
               West Boothbay Harbor, Maine
               March 2020