Eventual City

                                —like Venice, save
that the canals are scarlet, and decay

impossible, neither are the boats
subject co fatigue, neither are the boatmen

whose broad alae suggest great patience.
Its stone rises, immaculate, and new

construction will not impede adjacent
progress. If the bearing of those going on

about their work seems fixed, intent, it is
nonetheless benevolent. The air also

broods, scented, though not so as to cloy.
And rather than paling flesh, the light

extends to it a vivid carnality.
The city is nothing at all like Venice;

what made me think it was? Something-maybe
something atemporal in the pulse, or else

the cool painterly quality the eye
attains during its mute pause at the pier.

More likely, my confusion underscores
a blurred range of effects the body wakens,

under the initial blush of just such gravity
attended by an also unfamiliar readiness.