That was the weekend you brushed my hair.
Brushed! My love, you were so gentle I had to do it again.
Soft, careful strokes, as if afraid not to break hair but gold.
I watched you in the mirror;
Green to the brush, task struck and lovely.
And I remember it as clearly as an accident.

High summer although I wished it was winter,
My dress sticking to me like a wet tissue
When the doors slid open to reveal Milan;
Apetrol industry, a mechanics plant of
Warm, dark streets upon warm, dark back streets which
Map-less we trawled but
Every neon sign we passed was the one we were not looking for.

Then rag-layered and heavy the gypsy began to follow us.
Gold-hooped, eyes lined black, they looked into mine.
‘Prego,’ she said, revealing the inevitable and somehow grand gold teeth.
Sighing, you give her enough for three
Yellow things in whitely decorated cellophane.
We are not even hungry.
And even though it is me who can not breathe,
Even though it is me who has to carry these sprayed roses
It is you who is upset that we are lost
I after all, have been lost since I met you,
This misplaced restaurant is a shallow grievance.

That was the weekend you brushed my hair.
Brushed! My love, you were so gentle I had to do it again.
Soft, careful strokes, as if afraid not to break hair but gold.
I watched you in the mirror;
Green to the brush, task struck and lovely.
And I remember it as clearly as an accident.

High summer although I wished it was winter,
My dress sticking to me like a wet tissue
When the doors slid open to reveal Milan;
Apetrol industry, a mechanics plant of
Warm, dark streets upon warm, dark back streets which
Map-less we trawled but
Every neon sign we passed was the one we were not looking for.

Then rag-layered and heavy the gypsy began to follow us.
Gold-hooped, eyes lined black, they looked into mine.
‘Prego,’ she said, revealing the inevitable and somehow grand gold teeth.
Sighing, you give her enough for three
Yellow things in whitely decorated cellophane.
We are not even hungry.
And even though it is me who can not breathe,
Even though it is me who has to carry these sprayed roses
It is you who is upset that we are lost
I after all, have been lost since I met you,
This misplaced restaurant is a shallow grievance.

Gradually the street becomes quiet, the gypsy falls away
Vanishes like air into the bars and cafes and
We seem to be alone when suddenly
Mad enough to bite, heat staggered and intent, a wolf- dog cuts our path.
Spooked erratic, I turn to walk on the inside
And it is then that I see nailed to a door a huge rosette
Announcing the death of Fabio Cordone
Blue, white, silver,
Ruffled silk and straight velvet it had more the look of prize than death.
I note the year of Fabio’s birth; he was old.
No great tragedy, I thought, but tightened my grip on your arm nonetheless.
Darkly dressed and elegant-sober, a mourner climbs out
Through the half door and
For the second time that night I am caught staring into a strange woman.
He will die before you, her eyes say,
He will die long before you.
I try hard to return the smells, the aftershave, the reflection of you in the bathroom mirror
The early evening nonsense that passed for chat and
The lukewarm shower I had taken where Fabio Cordone was not dead.