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Come Here

When, in a sprawling subterranean housewares shop

of Rome, I asked the price of some wine glasses,

and the salesman told me and then told me

to veni qui, to come here, I went.

He showed me some other glasses.

Do you like these? he asked. I don’t speak

much Italian so said only, yes, I like,

crystale, he said, and pinged the glass

with a fingernail. Yes, I repeated, crystale.

And then he touched my arm and said veni qui,

veni qui, and so we went to another part

of the breakable underworld where real

about-to-be-married Italians were filling

their bridal registry and so like me did not yet

have all their words for negativity

and he stopped before another set of glasses

and said, you like? And again, yes, I liked.

And again he rang the tiny bell of what he was

trying to sell me. And then, arm touch, come here,

and then yes, I like. This went on for some time

until I’d liked it all. I liked and was like every glass

he held. All I was was touched. All I could say was yes

to everything but I bought just two small glasses

from which you and I have yet to drink.

from Poetry Northwest 07.2 Fall & Winter 2012-2013More by Rebecca Hoogs from the library

Copyright © Rebecca Hoogs
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.

Published in Poems Rebecca Hoogs

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.