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!