They’re drinking Prosecco in the garden.
It’s hot and the light, white, glitters through
the leafs and blossom of the apple tree,
even its’ shade is warm.
Something sweet – perhaps apricot pie –
sits on almost best plates decorated with faded gold rims
and a little cream.
Soon, there’ll be coffee.

There’s laughter – there usually is,
he surrounds himself with it.
It’s his main yardstick for friends –
can they keep up, can they make him laugh?
When something bad happens, he immediately
begins to pad it out with the exaggerations and distortions
needed to wring out the laughter.

His mother is talking to the Viudas.
They don’t seem to like his act…
César’s brother got the education, he got to become a barber.
Paola’s father died young, of brain tumours,
then her sister, two years ago, from cancer of the bladder.
Their son has a genetic condition that makes him haemophiliac,
and makes his calves atrophy.
When he’s tired, he drags his feet.

He can’t bear the Viuda’s heaviness,
he wants to see the sun glitter,
he wants light and nimble conversation,
where everything has the potential to make him laugh.

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