nikia Love at first sight happens to most of us once in a life. It’s happened to Nikia Leopold twenty times. Architecture and painting—shape and color—inform her lines. In the space between the two, fantastic desire climbs hollowed out hand and toe holds. It climbs to discover what’s on top of the mesa. It climbs to remember.Niki-Leopold And sometimes the love is just a reason to have a good cry, a strand of music to hear while her hands are busy in the kitchen. If a kind husband wonders to what she’s listening she might say, “It’s just the wrens,” and cast a shy wink at the chatter coming from the holly bush.
The Miracle

You took me to your
birthplace, this village
named for a faded saint,
deserted in the space
of your 24 years
for hopes held by Florence.

We parked on a hill,
made our way through
forest and understory
to the piazza
surrounded by crumbling
homes, empty windows,

its single eye
a dry-lipped fountain.
Once, you and your friends
played around it,
sipped from it.

We found a place
to lie together full length,
sliding into the crackle
of crushed chestnut leaves.

I swear by San Gersolé
our murmurs
made that fountain weep.