Strange, how I can see the hilltop town
lights many miles away and the headlights
of distant cars twinkling as they move down
switchback loopy roads—glittering stars
to the steady planetary glow of the towns.
But no, the planets move and so they are
the cars and the towns the fixed-star definers
of the sky: the hills are there and there. Strange,
to tell myself I am here, tonight, in Italy.
(I have to keep telling myself.) For I have seen
hills before and hilltop towns before. True
there are cypresses, tall thin shadows in this
deepening night, but I have seen stone houses
before and olive trees before. I have felt
gusty fall breezes before, seen cloud-shrouded
full moon before. I have drunk Italian wine
before. But on this chill night in this gusty breeze
under this cloud-shrouded moon, with the warm
light through the doorway of this stone house
above this olive grove (with this glass of Italian
wine in my hand), I know I am here, and am glad.