Dietro Vetro

Piazza Duomo from Novecento

Umbrellas, red, blue, purple, yellow, and pink

dot the rain-drizzled piazza in front of the Duomo

the mellow light of early evening bathing the crowd

assembling for a political rally, the scene viewed

through a high-up window in the Museo del Novecento,

reflection and shadow lending it a surreal glow,

the piazza like a chessboard with human pawns,

the long-standing facades opposite a reminder

there’s nothing new under the sun or moon, and though

my Italian’s not good enough for me grasp the details

of the politics, I know it’s politics—there’s a party

and an anti-party, and things are more complicated

than they seem, and yet the differences are not so great.

I ask a waiter at a café alongside what’s going on.

It’s he who tells me the event is political—speakers

will follow the band, the cans of beer in everyone’s

hands a little lubrication to ease the entry of the message.

Back at my hotel, I ask the night clerk what he knows

about the event. It’s news to him, but we agree

that politics, however important, however necessary,

interferes with proper digestion and is best kept behind glass.


Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper

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