en plein air

Rome is the City of Echoes, Gabe Montesanti

You hated the flowers. I tried to hate them too.

Can you see decay entering the frame
of our picturesque domestic landscape?

I am a creature of images, brief appearances.
I try to save myself from second sight.

Living this way is a small matter
of deferring and deferring
recognition, which means sorrow,
to some strange and distant date—

If I’d said this to you,
you would have been angry—

everything is suffused with its own ending.

I stood under a blooming tree
with a few buds unopened, faintly scumbled pink
as if to say there is still time—

what can I do with time

when nothing will ever produce for you
the world the way I see it?

I am not a painter.
I’m the kind of thing butterflies land on,
which does not make me a home.

Look, already, how we have become so estranged.

About the Author

Matilda Lin Berke · Wellesley College

Matilda Lin Berke is a writer based in NY by way of LA, a recent graduate of Wellesley College, and the Editorial Manager of The Adroit Journal. Her writing has previously appeared in Forever Magazine, The Magazine Antiques, Hobart, Adroit Journal, and The Mars Review of Books, and is forthcoming in dream boy book club, Compact, and Expat Press. This piece originally appeared in The Adroit Journal.

About the Artist

Gabe Montesanti · Washington University

Gabe Montesanti is an MFA writing student at Washington University in St. Louis. She studied studio art and mathematics at Kalamazoo College in Michigan, and she completed her senior thesis in Rome. The project, a hybrid of visual and written work received honors from the college. Her writing and art can be found in Word Riot, Crab Creek Review, Devil’s Lake, and elsewhere. “Rome is the City of Echoes” first appeared in Blueshift Journal. This piece was first featured in plain china in 2018.

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