I joined the merchant navy at fifteen and women I met in faraway ports
lived in shady bars and pink bedrooms, had raspy voices eyes as cold
diamonds and laughter that sounded like broken glass; they only had
time for crude words. By the docks in Livorno, Italy, a girl in a cake shop
smiled to me, said I was a pretty boy. Pink I bought more cakes than
I could eat. I had met a girl who liked to hold my hand, laugh and talk.
We went to the movie, saw “La Strada” but the nearness of this girl was
so overwhelming I could not focus on the movie. Happy days, yes I ate
a lot of cakes. My ship had to sail for other ports, I was in love, promised
to come back soon. Sadly my ship never returned. My boyish love
affair was forgotten in the carousel of ventures and bitter love affairs.
I don’t know why I remember her, guess she’s a grandmother now.