See Naples and Die|Allan Lake|Poetry

Catchy slogan, that one. Caught me.

I had thought death a mere metaphor

or, at worst, result of botched interaction

with local mafia but, upon arrival in that

beautiful and infamous southern Italian city,

developed a small cough.


I coughed in the B&B when I should

have slept, coughed over cornetti and

morning espresso, coughed walking up

ancient stone steps to historic centre,

coughed on the bus along postcard

coastline, cough-coughed at convent

where dignified silence is expected

and eventually coughed my way

to Emergency Department where

I was prevented from kicking

a truly odd metaphor with anti-

(bucket) biotics. Not Covid-19;

Coffin avoided.


I shall not forget or forgive you, Naples –

like Calabrian Mafia I hold grudges.

Yours was almost a cough to die for

but, to be fair, you did give fair warning.


Photo by Rahul Chakraborty on Unsplash



Originally from Saskatchewan, Allan Lake has lived in Vancouver, Cape Breton I., Ibiza, Tasmania,

& Melbourne. Poetry Collection: Sand in the Sole (Xlibris, 2014). Lake won Lost Tower Publications

(UK) Comp 2017 & Melbourne Spoken Word Poetry Fest/The Dan 2018.

Won publication NewPhilosopher #29, 2020. Chapbook (Ginninderra Press 2020) My Photos of Sicily.

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