Ivan Ruccione

Translated from the Italian by Sara Russell

The last things

I precede you as you walk me to the door, clutching in my hand the bag with the last of my things. I open the door and turn towards you, my steps silent on the doormat.

“I’m sorry for making you come back here,” you whisper.

My hesitant eyes travel over your body and onto the May sun hiding behind the peach tree beyond the window looking out on the garden. If only we could improvise something that could stir us again, I say to myself. But we know everything at this point, it would be a lie.

The muscles of your naked arm contract and your fingers touch my face. You move aside a tuft of hair that covers my forehead. With one step I could approach your lips, but we are like fresh cement. One step would leave a footprint too deep for a bit of rain and wind to erase.

Ivan Ruccione’s stories have appeared in Italian literary magazines such as Nazione Indiana, Poetarum Silva, Altri Animali, Cattedrale, and in Boston University’s AGNI Magazine. He is author of a story collection Troppo tardi per tutto (Too Late for Everything; Augh Edizioni, 2019). He was born in 1986 and lives in Vigevano, a historic town near Milan. 

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