The dark sun casts enchanting espresso laced shadows
across bridges adorned in dresses of orange, pink and yellow.
Anorexic cats dart from abandoned parks
like so many ballerinas of the night
who, †with painted faces and skin-tight minidresses,
conduct their orgies nightly in soft vesper whispers
out of sight of the carabinieri.
The pigeon-headed statues of Piazza Santa Spirito
silently gaze upon the exuberant nightly crowd of giovani
petitioning one another for pleasures so badly needed
when the heat of stone and family
drives them out among the cobblestones and gelato.
A clamorous noisy sun drenched morning
flung out like a large white sheet of old ladies with shopping bags
and nasty old men sparring in Italian word salad wars
the piazza, now empty of crowds,
is witness to the approaching libretto of shoppers.
At the cafe I get thick coffee and a newspaper
all things in moderation.
By afternoon the summer's long tongue licks my face
with its salty shower stinging eyes for which the only consolation
is the sight of long legged Florentine ragazze
golden brown, promenading their treasures in a special high-heeled walk
that swings the ass ever so gracefully
in an arc as perfect as Brunelleschi's dome.
Now at night with songbirds swooping
young lovers entangled in each otherís embrace
the Arno flows forth along the mysterious Ponte Vecchio walls,
darker pastel colors of ochre and umber
and I pause every few steps before another splendorous vista
and another alter to the Partigiani dead.
by Jerry Ross