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  • You don't want to go home. You're not ready.

    You spend the last two days stuffing yourself with carciofi all giudia, with slices of pizza bianca, with rose and pistachio gelato, trying to memorize every flavor.

    None of this can you get at home unless you make it yourself.

    You spend the last two days roaming Rome, walking yourself silly through the colors, trying to memorize every shade.

    None of this can you see at home unless you paint it yourself.

    You spend the last two days listening listening listening to the cadence of the city, the lift of the language, the voice of the Vespa, trying to memorize every note.

    None of this can you hear at home unless you play back your recordings.

    But home you go, for you must. It is time.

    You arrive at night. Crash into bed. Already you feel loss, lost.

    And then you wake to the owl's last low notes, to the bitter coffee's first taste, and to the color of early spring so exuberant that you cannot help but be happy to be home.
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