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by Madelaine Hanson

My Venice isn’t yours, although
I’m fairly sure you’ll cite the rules-
Cellophane of me perhaps
To love more mine than your starred cliche.
You’ll cram your lust to tourist days inside her
And with the bright light flash
of a camera click
Attempt to steal her bored charm.
Like ants you climb her decaying step
and clumsily crumble the clay to clotted relics.

Perhaps my love it lies below your carmine stare
And the waterlines you
crease and crush
beneath each foot
In the veridian truth of yesterday-

Scissored stretch of shallow water
City of the river dweller
Each cellar stands in boxed stacked slumber
mislaid catacomb, six feet under.