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"Coney Island Baby" • Lou Reed (by Giovanna Vitale)


1. 


I’m in the back of your 2006 Corolla and we drive tirelessly around Rock Creek Park. You take on the curves with just one hand – the other is preoccupied with the CD player. You ask me what I think of the song you land on, and I lie as if I know it intimately. In all honesty, I only began to understand Lou Reed during the month that we met. You tell me about how your sister played it for you as you first walked around the green of our school, and how you couldn’t help but feel something akin to fullness. I roll down the windows and the sun clasps my face in its hands and I feel warm. 


The glory of love might see you through 


2. 


I’m on my knees pulling up the grass around our row of garlic scapes. We’ve almost seen August through. You are no more twenty paces down the row, but this time, we’re shielded from each other’s words by our earbuds. I could stand to be less delicate with the weeds; you could stand to use more care. This distinction doesn’t surprise me; we haven’t surprised each other in months. I pretend that it’s the aroma of garlic that makes one weepy – instead of their allium relatives and instead of you. In the fall we’ll make scape pesto with my mother’s recipe for dinner with your boyfriend and things will be manageable again. 


When you’re all alone and lonely in your midnight hour / you find that your soul has been up for sale 


3. 


I’m sitting at our bar to escape Bologna’s numbing air. The sun hasn’t fully risen yet, and the door is always open here so I wrap myself in my grandmother’s overcoat. Rocco brings me an espresso just as you walk in, but I don’t hear the bell ring. I noticeably stiffen when you brush past my shoulder. You greet me with a smile and a story from the telephone – news is always coming from home. My mind drifts; my breath has grown heavier, but I’m losing weight. I pull my headphones over my ears and we examine our espresso cups as if they’ve changed from yesterday. I look away.

 

You start thinking again about all those things that you’ve done / and who it was, and what it was, and all the different things… 


The glory of love just might come through



Giovanna Vitale is a writer, poet, and filmmaker. She has studied film analysis with a concentration in documentary ethics at both Wesleyan University and the Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna. She lives and writes in New York.

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