at night the streets become rheumatoid
silence reigns, an unseen lunatic,
the venetian enchantment grows lovelier than ever
who would see or hear you if you were
sucked into a canal, the music of your vanishing
mingling with that of the moored gondolas?
they speak in strange intestinal tongues
in the platinum moonlight
inside that water theatre
i would sleep, under a bridge, beside a lamp of gelatin light
magically cast into uncharted corners
the gondola loosened by a mischievous child at night

in the piazza san marco the pigeons had all been people
wishing i suppose never to leave the square’s beguiling void behind
there planks of wood materialise at high tide
when the city is flooded
as though the annual siege of acqua
was just a hindrance, though really it scares me
each time
into an awful perception of nearing extinction

in venice’s labyrinths, watery or otherwise,
i can discern other worlds
take space journeys, imagine atlantis,
venus’s solar plexus
reach byzantine plateaux
eccenticity and possibility here
are fused with vistas, prisms, mirrors
gleaned from eternity