Issue 9

Autumn 2013


L’Oro de Napoli

At the no-star hotel, my husband extols
the room’s former glory, art deco
mirrors, the bathroom's marble floor.
I check the door’s lock, lay a towel
on the bed sheet, cover the cigarette burn.
I will sleep fully clothed, should have clued in
when the desk clerk asked if we were booking
for the night. We are so not money.
I am so not into grubbing. My husband
opens the large casement windows. Ecco!
Imagine Sophia Loren, Vittorio De Sica.
I envy his generous, impulsive streak.
High above the narrow street, lines of wash,
long-sleeved shirts, tea towels are strung
from one apartment to another. How is it
these women trust their work
won't be spattered with droppings?  A pigeon
alights on our sill. An iridescent feather
falls to the floor. I rip a page from our guidebook,
fold in the feather, let it drop to the street.



Louisa Howerow