The Neighborhood Jury (#96)

Gathered daily along Via Longura
Over antipasto and a deck of fifty-two,
Surly men conspire with
The sexy barista in Café Settimane
And the neighborhood nonna cursing from a window,
Even the resident pigeon lady
Atop her cobblestone perch,
But not with me, una ragazza Americana
On the 98th of a hundred day stay, and unprepared
For the faint buongiorno that came out of no where
Or the dealer who winked at me
I swear—And I settled in as a regular
With a smile on my lips, a grunt from Nonna,
My standard espresso waiting for me on the counter.

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