Fried flour for breakfast when we ran out of food
And you never complained that I smoked in our room because you loved me
And when Turo took a picture of me you called it Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man
And I was working on a film structured like a Chopin concerto
            played by Claudio Arrau
Drinking strong Czech wine
Schumann’s piano concerto as I slept
Tristan and Isolde with Birgit Nilsson
La Bohème with Victoria de los Ángeles and red sauce every time I was stuck
Hoping you’d fall asleep so I could turn off Cecilia Bartoli
And the gift of travel that I hoped would never come

John Rock grew up on Lake Michigan between Milwaukee and Chicago, and spent many years on the shores of Lake Superior. He is the author of two futuristic novellas and many poems. He presently lives in Asheville, NC. More writings at

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