i. once upon a time, there were old gods and new gods. under crumbling archways the divine and the cursed share cigarettes, lighters cupped in their hands. rain pours relentlessly from the heavens, falling to the uneven cobblestone in a sheen of silver spears and smoke. this time, nothing but prayers are shed.
ii. this is their communion: an errant hand brushes against the marbled form of Hades, rowboats rock harmlessly to the temple of Asclepius, feet shuffle across the white line and into the holy land. it is in these moments that solitude begets peace.
iii. angels tuck in their tired wings, roosting on bridges and cathedrals and alleyway corners spun with ivy. amongst themselves they count the crowds that take shelter in their shadows. every day, the numbers swell until even the loneliest of the celestial feel a warmth in their gilded chests.
iv. these same seneschals pour life through golden urns, as they had done eons before the she-wolf who nursed the founders of Roma was ever born. water flows steadily from all four rivers and through the eagle-face spics that dot the roads, blessed by frail, rosary-stained hands. even the Tiber, full of harsh currents and deep embankments, softens under the touch of a child at a fountain. life flourishes. the gods smile.
v. once upon a time, i met these cursed and divine and celestial beings. all lived together in a city as old as time itself, in a city born from clay, then wrought with brick, and finished in marble. and in this place of impossibilities, i found my heart.
i found my home
i spent six weeks in rome and nothing will ever compare.