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Ireland BoatPromise me you will not forget Portofino.
Promise me you will find the trompe l’oeil
on the bedroom walls at the Splendido.
The walls make a scene you cannot enter.

Perhaps then you will comprehend this longing
for permanence I often mentioned to you.
Across the harbor? A yellow church. A cliff.
Promise me you will witness the day diminish.

And when the roofs darken, when the stars drift
until they shatter on the sea’s finish,
you will know what I told you is true
when I said abandonment is beautiful.


“Portofino” by Spencer Reece. You’ll find it in his surprising, consistently smart collection The Clerk’s Tale.

I took the picture in Kerry, Ireland.