Padua

Arcades: steps toward the sun.
Stone crossbeams with figures of griffins and nereids.
Saint James shoulders up a prison tower
and Saint Anthony stands in the door of a café
where you have just drunk espresso and finished your panini.
The marble procession in Prato della Valle and via Donatello
where you are led by a blind boy.
Gardens full of morning glories, their lines
apparently designed by a Botticelli.
And a woman's voice - a whisper? a rustle of thoughts? -
falling like leaves through dusk.
It leads you to a place of clearances,
among crushed capitals of columns
where birds used to build their nests.
Or maybe this is just the look's density?
Or water gathering in a hollow, drop by drop?
You hang around town like a drifter.
A pigeon with a broken wing flutters in your hands.
The wind carries you into the light, toward its source:
shadows fall upon your face, you have to blink your eyes.


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