Perhaps we did have only that one night
in that attic, under those too steep eaves.
Perhaps you did leave Amsterdam
for the States the next day.
Still, things were never the same.
My landlady suddenly stopped annoying me.
The complexion of the bassoonist next door cleared up.
Every cobble on the street, every brick in every facade,
every bit of mortar found its place.

I developed an affection for those awful
street trams, their limerick clanking.
As I rode one I felt the joy of having weight,
of being thrown from side to side.

Every person I saw that day was indescribably beautiful,
the planes of their faces coming together
so as to reveal the sweetness of being human.

I walked in the Vondelpark,
not so much because we had walked there,
but so as to memorize the fractal patterns in the chestnut leaves.
The sky was blue for the only time that year.
Everyone, without exception, was in a good mood.
None of the bikes collided, not even the tourists.
The tulips might as well have been blooming.

I had to stay away from the Rijksmuseum.
I was afraid I might sneak a peek
at one of the Rembrandts, go mad, and die.

appeared in the Spring 2007 edition of Zone3