We Walk Through Italy
by Diane Vogel Ferri
On Roman blocks and bricks older than conception
we walk roads of infinity stone, of an empire adept
at every human need and invention, we walk through
the glory of light-filled domes, basilicas where
pure unencumbered art gushes in
a cataclysm of the muses in full bloom,
on walls, ceilings, floors, mosaic, marble,
Mary and her baby crucified.
We traverse walking bridges in the city of water streets;
barnacles and mold climb the drowned foundations
in some kind of warped beauty, in our gondola we watch
floating buses and taxis move people through the narrow canals.
St. Peter’s is the spiritual sky, the solemn truth where
our murmurings become muted in Mary’s sorrow.
Pompous sculptures surround us and swell our dreams in
a reunion of the old world and the new.
We see the white ecstasy of David in the present distance,
it pins our eyes wide open and static in our circular view.
The sacred Sistine Chapel slows our breathing
in the required silence, arms are at a sudden rest.
We ride along the winding coast of a turquoise Naples Bay,
buildings precariously stacked like toy blocks,
rock mountains and little green hills, a volcano at rest,
millennial fortress towers stand on guard.
When the crowds of picture takers and posers suffocate us
we look up, look up to ancient structures still proud,
into a singular previously unknown world
and we are reborn, we are redeemed.