We’ve stayed five days in the south,

pressed into mountains

and the impossibly blue Tyrrhenian.

At the Paola station, the family

carry our bags,

lift them onto the train

after kissing both cheeks,

which are suddenly wet.

The cousins line up

along the platform, their faces

a family portrait in the grimy

rectangle of window.

–excerpt from “Goodbyes” in A Light Dusting of Breath by Donna Pucciani (virtual artists collective/purple flag, 2015). First published in Istanbul Literary Review.


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