Love in Roman Ruins

2 min readDec 22, 2021


The tourists are gone,
we left them behind
as cobbles gave way
to peripheral wilds

Bagpipe cicadas,
heat as a stillness
Tall yellow grass
that won’t say a word

Little red bricks
hide in the brambles,
Obsessive green ivies
fuse to dry clay

the grittiness pleases
fumbling fingers
that spider-brush past
seeking purchase and torque

The chamber is roofless –
shrubs hold a cloud –
Pine needles soften
the barbs in our thighs

Your viscous bloom
enamours my hand
Your pressing palms
give my back heft

Loosened black ringlets
sway on your brow
traversing your ice floes
of incendiary blue

We catch a glimpse
of veins and a tightness
Pompeian purple
over cream white and pink

As every wet ridge
slides past every lip
triggers of good
crash through the chimes

Fever breath
tongue tips held back
vanilla and smoke
the hardness of cheekbones

There is a moment
when I’m part of your spine
and you are the blood
heating us both

A muscle alliance
galloping blind,
tensing and starving
for sweetness and salt

We’re being watched
by curious immanence
The huntress who smirks,
The hooves that I hear

The bricks of the chamber
twang back our sounds
The maw in the chest
tumble-swoops open

A surf of deep honey
sucks back a beach,
of shingle-click kindness,
inordinate luck

Your taut belly trembles
villagers run
torrents are torrid
yours swallow mine

And just as it started
it ends, with a rush
with liminal faeries
swimming our eyes

Chirruping sweat
collects on our skin
the breeze of our breathing
faint, like a song

Here in the shade
of perpetual decay,
butterfly laughter,
ridiculous joy

Then beasties resume
their twitches and crawls,
and maculate sunlight
anoints an embrace

Rain echoes the stairwell,
a year later, in Rome
You speak from your door, ­
the elevator hangs open

But I let your words fall
from blue ice, to hurt,
to the smoothness of tiles
and the drone of hydraulics

Two dozen moons
have since silvered my blood,
as I step among ferns
at the end of the earth

The gifts I now bring you
are ruined, are ruins
But back in the brambles
our ruins still stand