Carla kept nudging me to learn Italian.
It is the language of lovers and liars she said, life’s two best friends,
Discipline yourself, it will teach you to sing, she offered,
Each phrase a lyric, a seduction,
It will give you an unfair advantage over younger men, she promised,
Tickle her ear with this tongue and she will shiver and unfold,
Her heart, her knees unlocked.
Italian is a calculate of rhythm, Carla suggested,
Every woman understands timing and phase,
Our life is nothing but cycles for god’s sakes,
How have you not understood this?
It is the lingua of fair play, she continued, each syllable an equal citizen,
A dialect with an innate sense of justice,
Women are as intrigued by its possibilities,
As they are by threat and danger,
Either of which you can no longer promise.
Tell a woman you love her in Italian,
Ti amo più respiro, I love you more than breath,
And her ******* will disappear,
She won’t be able to take her eyes off your lips,
And as we all know, your mouth is your hook,
Your irresistible smile, the pout, the persuasion.
You are a poet, a miracle I know,
Your words are narcotic when you put your mind to it,
I’ve heard you quell an unruly crowd;
Your resonant tone could soothe a pack of ravenous jackals.
But with that intricate face of yours,
Your accumulating age, the leather wrinkles,
Believe me, you will soon need to help to ****** even a photograph.
Enlist, become Italian, Carla told me, it is your only hope,
And she tossed the last of her wine onto the sand,
Watched the red stain saturate and fade,
And lay back to face the sun.