Or: what makes the body cum? What makes us fall in love? Brass door pulls, medieval city walls, small silver pitchers of cream, a tall, lean man exposing himself in front of a fountain. Or: what do we fear? Not having something to hold onto at dusk? The return of a long- lost father? Last night I woke up in the hotel basement Crawfish scuttled across my chest My hands purple with dream We dared each other to see who would push off the pier first Once my husband told me that he loved me because he was good at it There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who eat salt. And those who wait for a perfect ending.
Arrived late last night: Hotel Mercurio I am red: I stink of heat In this city:none of the girls are allowed outside E’tutto finito Reason produces sleep: but sleep produces no reason At the cafe across the square, a young man came up to me said that during the Middle Ages the priests here would burn coffee to conceal the smell of death :but I am deathless Ezra Pound invaded Italy. Ended up at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, room 224: nothing was ever explained to him: slept every night on a pillow made of numbers and goat hair. When he returned to Italy: died under a blanket of suns That was the last step in an unnatural descent: not a way to alleviate sorrow just the origin of memory at least the version told by the Greeks Last night my husband sat on the floor: cross- legged like a school girl I lay in bed eating fat rendered from the dead: my body warm under the sheets This is Venice: a city that follows the rules of misdirection: like a woman who doesn’t know what to do with all of her holes. I have spent the last four years standing in a stranger’s doorway enjoying the resistance then the sirens stopped the air smelled like mild surprise. The women of the market have told me: in cases like mine, any god will do.
About the Author
Ann is the author of The Medea Notebooks (spring, 2023 Etruscan Press), and The Italian Professor’s Wife (spring, 2022 Press 53), as well as the chapbooks The Bird Happened, perhaps there is a sky we don’t know: a re-imagining of sappho, Everywhere You Put Your Mouth, and DREAM/WORK. Her work has recently appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, Narrative, Chicago Quarterly Review, Carve Magazine, and Juked. Ann has a degree in English from Bard College and an MA in Chinese Language and Literature from UC Berkeley.