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The Tropic of Capricorn someone hadleft on the seat beside me, somewhere betweenUtica and Albany;

Miller going on about twats,about the pasting of billboards.

In and out of bus stops, nausea in my head,the toilet smelling at the back;the bus jolting the freeways; nightlightsrained on the window

the night I honeymooned with America. She tookme around like a sweetheart showing off her hometown.We came upon places where Miller had had herbefore me. We stepped off at depots and she was friendlywith old drunks, with sailors.

When we passed apple trees gathering frosther eyes softened; she seemed almost childlike.And later, tall mills, saddening her landscape, the waya woman thinks of years with a man she couldn't love.

When we passed train yards, she reminisced aboutMiller in New York, nights they made love by the roarof trains, sparks flying at the folds of her summer dress.

The night I saw her for the first time, I saw shewas a good whore -- nothing to fall in love with --fond of the young boys who'd grown with her; tall sonsof a sort who'd go on to elegize her, claim theircorruption by her, thoughno man goes on to respectable wivesafter her. She was nothing to sing about, the nightshe lifted her dress for me.But quietly all over the world

her men return to their first nights with her.

Quietly, like small boys stealing apples underfurious stars,they remember with affection

the tough romance their hands build nothing without.

© Pier Giorgio Di Cicco