Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Last night, musicians, jugglers and other street entertainers thronged the city with colorful amusement and song. Fireworks turned the horizon into glittering blossoms of milkweed that floated over bell towers and dark canals. This was a time for self-indulgence, passion and joy. It was a night when relationships feasted on forbidden fruit and worries about tomorrow dissolved in soft moonlight. Wednesday would awaken with bells and a sacred emphasis on reflection and sacrifice. But memories of the Carnival would linger and penetrate the masks of piety worn by priest and parishioner, the aura of peace emitted by doves and votive candlelight. They would haunt and disturb the city's imagination as people still dreamed and wondered about love...
Quando sono sola
and church domes muted by mist
now glorify the Venetian sky
with luminous metal.
Wind tugs at the sea
titling silence as birds glide in
and stir the ether. Whispers
snuffed out hours ago
when pier lamps and stars
dimmed near dawn, are rekindled
remembered by those who loved
under the carnival glitter.
A priest stares toward his hand
holding a broken eucharist
and sees the silhouette
of a pale lady on black stone.
The cameo worn by Lisetta Marie
was the first thing he noticed.
It emphasized her neck, a long stem
flowing into perfumed shoulders
and Persian silk draping
young breasts that discreetly
nursed royal children , sustained
the soft warmth of an evening sun
behind the gondola curtains,
she offered him radiance , gold brighter
than his cross or communion cup. Today
he will pray, garner ashes.
In the name of the woman, the lover
and sweet sin...the mist has cleared,
sunlight spawned but the dream sings on.
Fingers tremble, and the Jesuit
wonders if is she is standing
on a balcony suspended
one hundred rooftops away;
her hand clutching
the rail’s iron flowers
her eyes on the water
Like him, she glistens --
wine, candles, and the heat
of white limbs rubbed together
Note - The epigram in English means, “When I am alone, I dream of the horizon.”