by Kim Martins
Her voice was like frayed silk, delicate and sensuous, or the warm embrace of soft fur wrapped around slender shoulders. I cradled her hand as though it were a tiny bird. I imagined exploring her curves late into the night, the sweetness of her breath hinting at the almonds and pears of the Prosecco. Her fox-brown eyes revealing an intensity of spirit I would come to know.
We were married on a hot, breathless afternoon in August, nineteen fifty-five in the whitewashed church of our childhood. She spoke the words I have never forgotten as she descended the cool marble steps: “Giuseppe, I will learn to love you.”
I breathed in the lavender scent of her hair as she looked up at me, the honey light flirting with her gold earrings, confetti covering her cleavage like stars spun across an inky night.
We danced to a stardust melody until the Tuscan dawn, our hearts beating in harmony, our feet aching and blistered. Cheeks pressed together, red heat rising, I could taste the salt of her tears.
Assunta rises from the lace-covered table, her Italian plumpness swathed in grandmotherly-black. She walks into the kitchen, emerging minutes later with cream-filled cannoli, candied panforte and melt-in-the-mouth ricciarelli, piled high and dusted with icing sugar. “Giuseppe, are you daydreaming again?” she asks.
Reminiscences flutter in my heart like trapped birds and love radiates from those fox brown eyes.