There is only one answer in Italy
when asked, how are you? Molto bene
very well, thanks for asking, how could I not be?
walking down the Spanish Steps to find the Trevi
turn around to throw a euro coin behind me
golden renaissance wish of Campo di Fiori
the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and Vatican City
take me down where the Sistine Chapel is so pretty
with exquisite, adorned walls that smell like Rosemary
and old smoke like the guy leaning over his balcony
displaying both his cigar and Italian flag so proudly
I could not have prepared for St. Teresa in Ecstasy
breathtaking pierced love in Bernini’s divine beauty
I cannot stop thinking about her until I see David Bowie
sexy screen time at the chic little ristorante
where spinach swims and swirls in a luxurious olive oil sea
listening to the Italian flutter her winged words surround me
Per favore, arrivederci, grazie, sto bene
convinced no other language could ever sound so lovely.

Amanda Hayden is the current Poet Laureate for Sinclair College and Professor of Humanities (Philosophy, Environmental Ethics, and World Religions). She has received several pedagogy awards, including the SOCHE Teaching Award and the prestigious League for Innovation Teaching Excellence Award (2020).

In addition to her children’s book, Windy Chicken Farm Animal Rescue, she wrote Saunter Like Muir for Eco-pedagogies: Practical Approaches to Experiential Learning (Routledge, 2022). She just finished her debut poetry collection, American Saunter, inspired by her time living, camping, and backpacking across the U.S. She is currently working on a second collection, based on her European travel (which this submission is from).

She lives on a farm with her partner, three daughters, three dogs, two cats, two goats, seven pigs, chickens, and Dorothy the duck.

Amanda Hayden

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By Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is a third-generation Ryukyuan-American, award-winning poet, author, and publisher with 20+ years in newspapers. Publisher of Space & Time magazine (est. 1966), two-time Bram Stoker Awards® Winner, and HWA Mentor of the Year, she shares Authortunities, a free weekly calendar of author opportunities at

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