A sphere compressed with refuse rolls through the city.
The urbs* is like a tumbleweed blowing
across this ghost town in the commonwealth
of garbage. I have no idea where I am going
when I get lost in Rome’s periphery.
Whatever’s left of me I keep by stealth.
The pastel pink and peach palazzi*
have cornices that slash the sky.
A dreadlocked woman with a pack
of mutts under the Ponte Marconi
reins her hellhounds in on leashes.
They snap at me like something meaty,
growling, Let’s rip him, shred by shred!
When the woman hollers, Scemi! Zitti!*
her dreadlocks snake around her head.
My arms are swaying while I stand,
bending my head as the bus ride
jolts my body side to side.
We passengers are urban trees.
Resolutely reaching, our hands
are sprouting from deciduous sleeves.
It’s Bloody Spring
If Rome is fun, in sun it’s even more so,
and I just bought some wingtips on the Corso*
to glide along where couples smooch and play,
and hear a woman with her lover say
his yellow tie is molto elegante.*
The sapphire sky, like angel’s breath in Dante,
absolves us from resolve, while mannequins
in decked vetrine* envy us our skins.
A migrant peddler pesters me to barter,
his raw hand proffering some cheesy loot he
gets his meals with. O Saint Agnes, martyr,
many are the ways of dying into beauty.
urbs = city/Rome
palazzi = apartment buildings
Scemi! Zitti! = Idiots! Shut up!
Corso = Via del Corso, a main street in central Rome
molto elegante = very elegant
vetrine = shop display windows