Venice is a rubbed painting
that reveals a lost era.
Water floods and recedes
marking its territory in deliberately carved ripples
The terrazzo floors are sloping
the timber structures giving out
falling with five stories weight into the Adriatic.
Symphonies play in San Marco
it’s the end of the world – a last show,
For six dollars you can stay at a table where they serve coffee or wine.
In other places
up against the canal, where there are small plazas
and most often restaurants, you can eat
an early pizza for lunch, have some wine.
The city is a mask of skin with hollow eyes
pull your face from the lime light
hide behind the curtains, your nose last to leave.
What’s left in the shell of the blue light?
A city of fantasy and flying creatures
vendors willing to talk in English and Italian in waves if
you make a drawn-out purchase.
Here, our seams were open to one anther – I
bartered for a scarf, my husband found a museum with French directions
yelled from a window, then
he slipped into the canal trying to make me laugh.