Il Herculano è Solo

Dirt rain clings to my spoiled

marble, gathers in oiled puddles

in the basin of a mosaic. The

lemon sun grows shadows

from ombrello pines like

the sparse weeds of my stone

garden. Still, the sidewalk cracks

from the pads of feet. No vendor

stands in the ashes of my

market, zucchini-iron fences

coil like garlic, my dry bones

reach beyond them for contact.


Nonni pause beyond my gated

serenity and lift their wilted eyelids.

I am a graveyard among living

houses; restful and untouched.

Pompeii would love to gather my

rubble and we could breathe

in the smoke of Vesuvio, but I

lay in the centre of Pozzuoli,

stretched like a single painting

hung in a gallery of walls.

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