Retreating through trellises of grapes
growing woven through rubber bands;
through the rose garden, fragrance hanging ancient
in the beading humidity –
I snapped the line of mopeds collapsed rubble
all down the sloping street, wheels to the curb;
suspended sheets pennants on clotheslines
from balconies to crumbling apartments.
Remember when you taught me how
to fold a flag with purpose,
to store it with care.
I had never given it much thought before.
Fitting into frame your face on foreign steps,
yellow marble chapels high relief against a cloudless sky;
aspirant, pressing one more, just you –
seeking cake, coffee, na wynos, peripatos,
two flavors shared between –
exit viewfinder, enter buzzing,
braiding paths of tourists and true believers.
I wish I had thought to capture
the crisp white of your new linen shirt,
sweated through the back
from that morning’s wrong directions.
Frankee Lyons is a Guest Contributor for Panorama.
Frankee Lyons is a PhD candidate in Modern Eastern European History at the University of Illinois Chicago. A former Fulbright scholar and Title VIII fellow, Lyons currently resides in Warsaw, Poland. She can be reached on Twitter and Instagram at @voyagehistory and through her website frankeelyons.com.