There is a contrast between comforting darks and explosive lights.

It looks like a volcano or a city at war or,

maybe, a mechanical device like binoculars or,

perhaps the view from inside the shaft of a double barreled shotgun

———or a cannon?


The dream was so appealing but I don’t know why it wasn’t terrifying.


It had to be painted and now I like it

like fireworks in Venice on the feast of Il Redentore,

                                                                                     when,        with my school mates, I sat in awe

and convivial contentment among big bobbing boats and lounging gondoliere

in the middle of the star-struck sea’s surface.                                           We were in an heroic escapade

on the esplanade

            of the great ship of the republic.

We lay in a delicate cocoon of safety and wine,

and the generous camaraderie of what seemed to the the whole population of la Serenissima,

trusting in the expert operators of the explosives

reveling in an overwhelming sense that these Veneti know how to celebrate

life, beauty, art, death, love, despair, freedom from plague, hope, faith, and an entitlement to it all.


On the sea surface of the most fabled, serene, and protected harbor in the world,

we foreigner students were at home,


joyful in the midst of the dangerous and apocalyptic story of the second coming of Christ!



What light...