Vanilla Essence

Steven Taylor

It was while the train
Waited indefinitely
At a complicated junction
Outside Venice in the 1970s

Travelling northwards
Via Bologna
	      before the bombing.

She was at least a communist.

My notebook describes her
As tasting of vanilla.  Vanilla.

I can remember nothing else
Except a type of blondeness.

On the same page I have written

The same shade of grey
As chewing gum or even darker,
Dirty like canals.

St. Mark's Square &
The Bridge of Sighs.  Crowded

Bologna railway station
Redecorated by her screams.

I cannot even recall
How I might have thought
Vanilla tasted back then

Never having tasted it
Until I was much older

But I was surprised
When I remembered

            pleasantly surprised.

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