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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, December 8, 2015.
About this Poem 

“The poem is set in Bogliasco, a village outside of Genoa, and the home of the Bogliasco Foundation, a spectacular study center for artists and scholars where my wife and I enjoyed a month-long residency to write in the spring of 2014. Details move along a nearby coastal walkway from Bogliasco to Nervi, but also along the daily habits and surprises of a life together.”
Robert Polito

Bogliasco

I’m always running ahead of my life,
The way when we walk you are always

Three, fifteen, forty steps behind
Taking a picture, or inspecting

A bottlebrush tree, a cornice, the sea
As it breaks white on the striated rock,

As though I can’t dare look, and
I’m always running away from myself

The way when we walk you are always
Asking me to slow down, and what will happen

When one of us dies, and, if it’s me first,
There’s no one’s back in our photos anymore.
 

Copyright © 2015 by Robert Polito. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 11, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2015 by Robert Polito. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 11, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Robert Polito

Robert Polito

Robert Polito is the author of Hollywood & God (University of Chicago Press, 2009). He teaches writing and literature at the New School MFA Program, which he founded in 1996.