Winter had already come.

I was reading Robert Lowell,

whose ill-spirit sobbed in each blood cell.

Nothing so fiercely felt, on my part.

Each morning I read the American news

and chose to take the bus to class so I could see the city.

Flocks of schoolchildren in white coats

took the place of pigeons, who preferred New York.

Instead of the sun I imagined a fragile, dusty lamp in the sky—

gently, the light offered me one street at a time.

One evening you dropped the keys

from the terrace and left me

to fiddle with the front door lock,

so I could not say I entered by accident.

Fresh pasta from the corner Italians, a surplus

of hot water. We had to eat, to wash. In this way

we reasoned away our pleasure. You sang

like a gypsy at camp. Wind spirited your voice

away before it was an echo

or echoed, but your body remained with me,

original, yellowed by nature. We felt safe at night—

sounds of human traffic, perhaps the dog-walkers

free of their dogs. The air moved through

the open window, as if it were fresh.

Elsewhere, winter had already come.

Soon enough, spring would arrive—first

in one city, then in another.