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Reflections on the Roof of Chiesa della Badia di Sant'Agata, a poem by David Garyan

Valentina Ventura, VNTVNT


Tempera on panel


Reflections on the Roof of Chiesa della Badia di Sant'Agata

For Valentina

Maybe one day

there will come a time

when needless things

can cease to exist—

like definitions

of “dictionary”

inside dictionaries,

or the fear of losing

lovers who rarely

tell you they love you,

yet always remember

what day you were born,

who never forget

anything you told them,

and are happy

to cancel their plans,

only to be with you.

Even more frightening

is the act of falling in love

while knowing its definition—

like watching a good play

whose plot someone

has already ruined—

like taking long walks

in foreign cities

you’ve just entered

but still can’t get lost in

because every sign is familiar

and every intersection is safe.

Almost unbearable

would be the prospect

of having lived

next to a living volcano,

knowing it would never

erupt in your lifetime,

never make an easy day difficult

or a difficult one easy—

like a wise man not falling

for his urge to run when it lies to him

and trusting his terror

when it tells him to stay,

so it can slowly undress

and reveal only the nakedness

of its courage.

Unthinkable to return

home now, to a place

where you know

where everything is,

and there’s nothing

more to be found—

like a treasure you buried

just to forget it.

April 2021


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