streets of august
by Anne Tammel
The dust of forgotten souls lines these streets.
In breath-like tempos, we hear the chiming
songs: A—Cru—ce Sa—lut…At the Duomo, we
crouch on old wood in the hot sun and pray
where Dante wept, and where the gilded doors
delivered small, frail souls to paradise.
Today, the sweetshop sells espresso shots
above those dust-lined tombs. Layers upon
layers of streets, and cities—this site, this
city were built for pagan gods, we learn,
as we gaze toward that dome in bewildered
wonder, wonder if the damned could fly.
You and I walk out toward dusk, the dome,
a museum. Souls reach the air with song…