Europe, 2007

homage to T. S. Eliot’s “Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufock” and the following line: “In the room the women come and go, talking of Michelangelo.”

When finally you were seven, old enough to ride in

my car, in the two miles in took us to go to the

store, you looked around and said “There’s enough room

in here for my backpack, we could go to Kansas City,” the

lights in your eyes twinkling like the eyes of women

who sell fortunes to strangers on the street and come

home to twelve cats, three dogs, six fish, two turtles, and

a gerbil. “No,” I said. “Dear niece, we are authorized to go

to the store, no further,” but on and on for years, we kept talking

of Kansas City, of St Louis, and when you were eighteen, of

how we would go to London, and Florence, and Paris, to see Michelangelo.

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