Archive for December 2009

The Future Form of Regular Verbs

Saturday, December 12, 2009

We may be the last people we know to go, andare, to Florence
and relax in the piazza, ever poised to respond in polite Italian,
piacere, pleased to meet you, and grazie, for thin proscuitto
and double, doppia macchiatos. So andiamo, here we go for
lightly fried zucchini flowers, tramezzino of roasted peppers
with pecorino romano and panini of sausage and goat cheese.
We walk, camminare, in the heavy afternoon through vines
crooked and robusto, on rocky hills: to witness the misty, rosa,
pink, arancione, orange sunset on the Duomo.  Construction
on the cupola continuing for 16 years till 1436, the masons
laying the mattone, their wine diluted by a third high above
the nave on scaffolding without Portland or cement mixers;
and missing by 600 years the woman in the Milan airport
in black and white checkered shorts, square red sunglasses
and tailored yellow jacket, six feet easily, with pink stockings
pulled up just below her knees—

“I am all of America, do I speak English?”

In every cell of Savonarola’s friary, a Fra Angelico fresco,
thin thread of spun gold on The Virgin’s veil, swipe of gold
on Gabriel’s wings in austere San Marco—
Annunciations everywhere!
Thin stripe of silver on the currency for automatic payment:
your ticket validated and your receipt, receipts for everything,
punched and stamped, torn and separated,
receipts to keep with your brochures,
brochures with guide books. And tomorrow, domani,
the fast train, the Euro-Star to Venice, Venisse-Femmi,
banners and medieval festivals in the square, buying a paper
mechanical bird on the bridge, decordo, we’re O.K.,
lugging the cardboard carrier of hearty Tuscans
and Siena pitchers home—

“Bring me a party of cake, how much is the bakery?”