A writer, long-haired, flimsy summer frock, flowering. Morning coffee is ready, a cube of white sugar, a clumsy spill of brown. She wears her Florentine freckles with pride. Summer has been kissing her lovely again. She greets the fat housecat. The silky beast nuzzles her ankles. Sip slow, early risers.

The writer has many lovers but she only loves one. Chianti in chipped china, drunk on a love that will last through winter. Smoky, medium-bodied love, love worth writing about, worth proclaiming from the balcony. She owns this hidden corner of Europe, climbing ivy, making love on a bed of unpublished manuscripts. Only he can know her. Her words won’t leave the third story.

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