Giulietta degli Spiriti by RiverNotch

Leaving my philandering husband Giorgio, I quickly set out
to make a mistress of myself to Sangria --
that is to say, as I boarded Jose's rickety boat
to Spain, I got myself
roaring drunk.

Who rides a boat to Spain?
Me and Gabriella took the train --

Sometimes I wonder if I'm really still Giulietta,
as I sit up smoking after love.

Me? I know I'm no longer Giorgio -- now, you call me Giorgina.
One night, after love,
I dreamed my sex was being pulled off of me bloodlessly,
like a stub of tallow stuck awkwardly between the legs.
That was the only change. Yet still, you and all others
acted as if I were finally complete,
as if I were your sister, fulfilling your dream
of a thirst quenched.

The first thing we did once we reached Barcelona
was visit that famous unfinished cathedral,
Sagrada Familia. The name alone
made me shed a tear,
although I remember
it was not one for sadness.

That business trip I took -- I actually flew Gabriella
all the way to Hong Kong for a painting.
"Interior d'un Cafi". I told her seeing Paris
captured through the eyes of a complete stranger,
a revolutionary
who fought against Spain's stranglehold
over his country,
was better than actually going there.

I told Jose, I did not want to live by the sea again.
But he refused, insisting the salt
would help clear my lungs. That was my problem,
he said, becoming breathless
over every little thing.

In fact, my plan was
to go to Tunisia -- she complained
with your voice, when she learned.
Why take the long way? she asked.
Why not go by boat?
I said I wanted to retrace the steps 
of our ancestors the Romans, reenact the farce
of the Punic Wars, eventually
of Aeneas leaving Dido.

Leaving you, I thought the spirits
would stop haunting me. Didn't I conquer them,
if not in this world of phenomena
then in the world of my memories,
your films? But they returned
one night, after love.
Neptune again rose from the sea,
again brought with him his great barge
of decay --

Then Venus appears next, in her golden veil
and tight bikini -- then Bacchus the young god
with the girlish black hair and the over-shaven face
and the white breasted raiment that in your memories
still didn't distract from his sex -- then Pluto
or maybe Saturn burning your favorite doll --
then Jupiter your grandfather the lord of the heavens
flying through the mists to his
mistress Parisienne -- then what again?
Now I don't remember. That story you told me,
explaining why you were so breathless
after your brief visit to the neighbor's,
I wasn't really listening.

The original thread can be found here
It could be worse
Well deserved - good one!
~ I think I just quoted myself - Achebe
I remember this from NaPM where it was an instant favourite. Thanks for showcasing it leanne.
Congratulations, River big hug big hug big hug 

It's a beautiful piece.
I don't remember it from NaPoMo - can't remember reading it before - maybe I did, and I hid that from myself because I was so impressed, with a 'wish I'd written that' feeling. I love the interplay of voices and scenes, weaving through time and place up to the God parade. Then your last four lines. Or even just the last one. Well done.
Wow! Thanks. I'm somewhat honored.

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