I. How in the summer of our hungry love we left the bright and cool frescoed walls of Lorenzetti and walked through hazel woods and truffle fields up the hill and to the hermitage, and I tied lavender and heather to my wrists.

II. How in the summer of our perfect joy, those giggling girls, those brides of Christ, came tumbling from the smoky bus, budding breasts beneath their tobacco-colored habits, red crosses stitched upon their chests.

III. And how they flipped their veils back in a memory of hair now cropped and lying on the barber’s floor in a convent in a country far away before they bowed their heads and entered the granite bedroom of the saint who is husband to the earth, its animals and plants and poor.

IV. How in our prideful summer, a sudden burst of rain and thunder bolted down upon us as we began our three-mile walk back into town.

V. And how we, humbled and steeped in a boggy cloud of thyme and sweat and mint and flood, splashed our way into the parking lot and stripped off our soggy clothes, just as the sun came chuckling through the oak shade.

VI. And how we later came to find the stonework farmhouse with its open hearth and plank tables spread with bread and olives, sardines and parmesan and roasted eggplant, water, wine and a bitter anise, saffron, basil digestivo, and we partook.

VII. How in the evening of our summer day, we drifted out beside the fields of rapa humming with the drone of bees and down a bridle path of plane trees deep into a poplar woods, purpling in retreating light, and quivering with the blinkings of a million fireflies.

VIII. And how we slept that night in our summer of desire knowing we were promised now already to each other by this baptism and communion with all that stands for heaven here on earth.


Photo used under CC.