J. M. Pressley
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Elegy for an Italian Restaurant

I walked down Halstead just the other afternoon,
Roaming, saw the Italian restaurant
Where a couple years ago we had our first date;
Where the love that came after first began.
Dried plywood covered windows, plate-glass doors; a sign
"For Lease" curled peeling from the rain and heat
Of—how many months?—time passed since closing, since that
November night, since I remember when.

I thought of love, of risk, of hearts with signs fading
When the doors finally shut, when plywood
Gets nailed up to keep the musty inside intact
Until another tenant comes along.
I walked on, thought of two hearts that somehow withstood
The fading boards and nails to stay unlocked.

© 1998 by J. M. Pressley

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