San Pietro

San Pietro

Two French girls, not from Montreal, snap
A photograph of a California boy. “Excuse, Photograph?”
“Sure I’ll take one.” “No, I’ll take one of you.”
A Catholic Pilgrimage exalts a Latin Hymn.
(They flew in from Tai Pei.) Three German speakers
Plug in a tape by INXS, address post cards,
Laugh at lines written to amuse those friends left
At home with parents. The number six comes up
As some idiot breaks a biscuit to pigeon-size bits.

Another Joe in shorts wanders around waiting
For his wife to finish touring the basilica.
We found a few charms today, but they don’t
Equal the full alto laugh, the Bergman face,
The night before at the Red Coach Grille with
Jubelbier and Due´ Suppli. Once the clouds clear
Potent sun drenches the covered shoulders of
Girls wearing thumb rings. You stop. Dreaming
Of Five-dollar gelato just doesn’t make it so. So

The shirts get tugged on one hand, buttons exposed
On the other. Two or three more languages cross
Mid-air in the always-windy, seldom-lonesome
Piazza San Pietro. The working stiffs:
Nuns with briefcases, light-suited locals
And ex-patriot dramatists mingle, or pass.
Now you are we again to hear perilous
Tales of narrow steps up to the top of a
Cupola way too high for human consumption.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 1995. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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