Devon Randolph Floyd Llewellyn

roman columns

Here and there I had played some false notes. No Papageno always willing, always wanting. No bird a-flute. I did once fancy myself a minstrel troubadour. The ladies they loved my robust beseechings, and granted me this and that mercy, in the old high way of such things. By and by, I had read the paper its pages draped from the wooden pole, from the finest coffee houses in Vienna, my second home by birth. I was always an outcast somehow, having grown up where I was never born, having returned to where I had neither nascent nor natal memory. Young girls on foot were often mad about me; they seemed to think there was something for them residing in my well-groomed moustaches, now peppered with white. Actually, I hid my worry like a cat tucks a field mouse beneath a piece of claw-footed, overlooked furniture in a great, expansive room. As though I had lived in another century, a former one, I wore my watch on a chain, a fob of hand-linked gold it was. And my manner, always, was decent. Such carnivals had existed in my mind from youth. In Liège once I left my truest who had housed me for a week in her garret where she had crept up the steps nightly for my love and arms. In the sunshine of San Mateo, another. In Olympia, a third. Loves and song and dance co-existed, the canciones I hushed down crossing some domestic borders drunkenly when nobody was looking.

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