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Richard Lyons


Teenagers lick ziggurats of gelato
and walk small muscular dogs.

A cat climbs stucco and drainpipes
but “nine lives” is a longevity

not meant for us— this is the Verona
of the flesh. In its coliseum, I nap

on a slab of stone. Pigeons coo.
Juliet’s gate is stained with graffiti.

Long dead, Catullus stands me up.
I crawl on my knees and run my palm

over the herringbone floor in the inn
named for him. On the sill is a vermilion

and blue sea conch. A second cat, all-gray—
in the hallway—laps milk with its tongue.

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