Pisa

Pisa

The village people knew

it was not a matter of if,

but a matter of when,

the tower would fall,

its wind-bleached columns

buckling at the knees

under the crushing weight of

its lofty belfry, which looked

out over the Piazza dei Miracoli

—the square of miracles.

 

Having stood in sturdy silence

for centuries, the spiral staircase

stretched its spine

enjoying the pop

of each stony vertebra until

the seventh story struck the ground

in a glorious, groaning backbend.

 

The nearby Cathedral of Pisa

didn’t approve of the acrobatics.

No self-respecting campanile

dreams of calisthenics.

What would the village people think?

 

But it didn’t matter what

the they would think.

With grating blocks in shifting stacks,

and stairs and capitals

and fissuring cracks,

the dust flew up,

then settled down, there

in pieces all around,

the parts of Pisa

on the ground.

 

Peace and Pisa on the ground.

-M.M.

Painting With

 

wind

 

Painting With

 

I don’t like the yellow wind—

all hot and rough, brittle,

fond of sawdust and spinning.

I much prefer the blue wind

that caresses and smooths,

sweeping away the sweat

and the afternoon.

The white wind keeps me up

at night, echoing in my

teeth and unsettling my bones

like salt from the north.

But, the black wind has my respect.

It moves methodically

the wheel of the seasons,

steering a massive rumble reckless

as the other winds bow in silence.

Then it gathers fragments,

scoops them into piles, and

draws closed the bag of time

spun out, till it all but disappears.

 

-M.M.