The Poet came home a little late, very drunk, and a with a moderate amount of some woman’s lipstick on his cap and collar. He tried to play it cool, but the woman who’d been waiting for him would have none.
“You treacherous bastard!” With a grand sweep of her arm, she cleared the table to the crash of earthenware and spaghetti puttanesca.
“Wait a second, Bee, I just, you see.” But her fiery hair was already burning out the doorway, into the chilly evening and the pale marble alleys of Florence.
“Damn it,” he said, staring at the red sauce all over the carpet. “Damn me.” The spray had even reached his bookshelf.
He was also out of wine.
The Poet waited until he was no longer drunk, just tired, but she didn’t come home that night. After the cathedral bells, he gave up and crawled into his lonely bed.
He didn’t even bother to build a fire that night. “For my sins, I don’t deserve a flame,” the Poet sighed. “Cold hearts should freeze to preserve their shame.”
Covers to the chin, he convinced himself that he could see his breath forming like little clouds over the Cupola that his stomach made. The night was unbearably chilly. Without her, the sheets were like ice. A rigid, frigid prison.
He wiggled his stiff little toes. One of them, he was sure, had fallen off with the cold, leaving just nine.
He closed his eyes.
“Oh, a woe is mine that none can quell,” he muttered. “Poor traitorous Dante, colder than hell.”
His eyes sprung open.
Thrashing out from under the blankets, he grabbed his quill and (actual) mole-skin (from the tannery) from the bedside table. Almost like divine inspiration, his poem began to flow.