Sonnet 1: Roccamare

Ben Philipps 19 May 2019

Sonnet 1: Roccamare

& Thuscus tu quoque Damon,

Antiqua genus unde petis Lucumonis ab urbe. [1]


      – JOHN MILTON, ‘Epitaphium Damonis’


We went to Italy in the summer, me, you,

and your best friend. It was there

she took that photo, the one where

I’m looking down in my yellow shirt and you

up at the camera. There are a few

memories of that time left: the mountain air,

the grass dried to crisp yellow, your hair

still wet from the pool. (These things I know to be true,

and truer still by remembering them now.)

One evening we walked up the mountain

and listened in the fading light to a man playing

the violin, and when we came back down

it was dark, so in the darkness I shouted

until your voice answered with my name.


[1] ‘And you were Tuscan too, Damon, tracing your lineage from the ancient city of Lucca.’