One day on the crowded street, I came across a woman who’d been my lover years before. She wanted me to tell her all about my life since we’d parted. That same day, I chanced upon another woman, a stranger who said we should get to know one another. I told each of them I had a wife, although it didn’t seem very real when I said it. They both expressed a desire to meet her, but that would mean letting them into my life, and I had no idea what that was anymore.
They were going to cut the huge park in Rome in half. They would push the southern part out to sea to cut if off from the richer north. I found myself in the park as it was happening. Luckily I was just in the right half, but a friend I was meeting up with for the first time in ages had his feet on the other side. All I had wanted was to explore the eternal city, or at least its shadows on the hills.
I wake to find the house has fallen apart. I’m lying in bed exposed to the street. ‘What happened?’ I shout to my wife. She is sitting on the toilet, in the fresh air, laughing.
Ian Seed’s collections of prose poems and small fictions include New York Hotel (2018), Identity Papers (2016) and Makers of Empty Dreams (2014), all from Shearsman. The Thief of Talant (2016) (the first translation into English of Pierre Reverdy’s Le Voleur de Talan) is published by Wakefield. A chapbook, Distances (2018), from the Red Ceilings Press, is Seed’s most recent publication. His work appears in a number of anthologies including The Best Small Fictions 2017 (Braddock Avenue Books), The Forward Book of Poetry 2017 (Faber & Faber), and The Best British Poetry 2014 (Salt). He lectures in the Department of English at the University of Chester in the UK.