Venice, Unaccompanied by Monica Youn


Venice, Unaccompanied
by Monica Youn

on the train, I thought
we were attacked

             by light:
chrome-winged birds
hatching from the lagoon.

             That first day
the buoys were all
that made the harbor

pennies sewn into a hemline.
Later I learned to live in it,

             to walk
through the alien city—
a beekeeper’s habit—

             with fierce light
clinging to my head and hands.
Treated as gently as every

             other guest—
each house’s barbed antennae
trawling for any kind

             of weather—
still I sobbed in a glass box
on an unswept street

             with the last
few lire ticking like fleas
off my phonecard I’m sorry

             I can’t
stand this, which
one of us do you love?

PHOTO:  Canal, Venice, Italy (Pixabay)

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