• Steph Shuff

The Last Sons of Levanto

When summer ends

when the warmest days and warmer winds

flee up and over hillsides

like temporary visitors -

they pack their bags with counterfeits:

vino (di Veneto) and trinkets (Made in China)

and art that copies art that copies art


They rub aloe on their sunburnt skins.

The fleeing winds sweep up crowded streets

and drown out foreign noises

leaving only false sands on

empty beaches and

the Last Sons of Levanto


Thick eyelashes mask sad eyes

Wet tongues speak of romances never lived

and memories yet to be made and

the Last Sons of Levanto

echo like empty shoes through vacant streets

invisible and strange to everyone

but me


Perhaps the Last Sons of Levanto

can cure the mystery that ails me

A chill that has settled in my hands

A heaviness about my eyes

Symptoms that betray romances once endured

and the lives I’ve lived that taunt me


Reincarnation is just another death

unless the mind recalls a life before

And the Last Sons of Levanto

shine like a light that’s fading

framing old things in new ways

like a picture of a picture I am seeing for the first time

for the hundredth time

all at once


The beauty of age is pressed upon their lineless faces

like a threat

and so life -

an inspiration!

is a drudgery just the same

They tell time in seasons and even winter tastes like the sea

salt and grit sand away old skin

to reveal new scars

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