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The city carries romance

Warm on its breath. Lo Scirocco.

Pink marble pavements in stone blush.

Faded tones of houses afterglow colour, warmed by sun.

White rooms within open shutters overhead, linen fluttering

Soft as the inside of a wrist.


On the arena at its centre

There are fragments of Latin graffiti

Irreverent, casual as the type on Italian trains.

Insults, infatuations.

How many churches in this town?

A place built for betrothals.


A chorus of bells under burnt roofs. Chatter.

Verona talks like its crowds of school parties, half interested in each other, not quite aware of it.

I leave the square, follow tourists.

Under the archway at the Capelletti house I read names

As tourists jump up next to the bronze cast of Juliet

Running hands over her golden breasts for luck.





the first day

Hermitage and the palace

frozen lake, overnight train

I was awake as we passed

the snow covered wasteland.

In our small cabin, sleepless.

I saw ice breaking on the river the week we left,

felt something delicate as spring on Moscow air,

falling away behind us as we rose in altitude.


Isabella is a poet, script and prose writer from York studying English and Creative Writing at the University of Manchester.

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