It wasn't so much the way the streets
were never the same, or so it seemed.
and it wasn't the way gelatto melts
down the cone to run on my fingetips.
and it wasn't the way the fountains flowed.
and it wasn't the way that the sun beat down.
it wasn't the wine, or the absynthe sting
and it wasn't the tune that the tiber sings
and it wasn't the pillars, nor any arch
and it wasn't the latin engraved thereon.
it wasn't the classes, it wasn't the books
it wasn't the girl with the sultry looks
that i passed on the street almost every day
and it wasn't the bridge i crossed on my way
it was just the air, and the air alone
and the weight of each step on every stone
or not just air, and not just stone, it was class
and gelatto and fountains and girls
and the tiber's eddys and angry swirls
and the cover band on the river's banks
and the nights we bought wine and we all got tanked
by an ancient shrine, and the pillars there
and the arches inscribed with latin, and stares
from tall, dark girls, and the fountain spray
and a sense of purpose.
the rhyme's gotta break. it sucks.
but that was rome, and i've never been happier.
as happy, perhaps, and even as filled
but never more. there was magic there.
real magic. the kind of magic that makes the streets change
every time i tried to find my way somewhere.
the kind that makes the river bend
every time i thought i finally knew where it turned.
the kind of magic that makes you cry to see a statue
because you're that sure it's a real woman
because you're that sure that a man's really dying
because you're that sure caesar's really watching.
because the bold only taste of death but once,
and prophetic sounds arise from even pallid stones.