through the streets and column cracks
culture weaves and summer smacks
sacred figure, holy shrine
monastery in grand design

cathedrals, convents, heaven’s stars
god of neptune, god of mars
doge’s palace, alley way
gondolier on full display

winged lion on pastel breeze
cicada singing from the trees
pillar walk of saint mark's square
basilica in all its flare

crosses shade the carousel
bridge of sigh that leads to hell
golden stairs of placid ridge
arches of rialto bridge

torcello! murano! grigio!
the countess rides the river poe!
sins of seven, fiery hides
poplars bank the levee side

black plague, attila the hun
eden formed before the sun
paradise above the marsh
high alter, gothic arch

middle age, religious wars
celestial fountains, marble floors
sculpted peacock, catholic faith
all is true the great god saith
Wade Cook May 3
We found an alley
Naked, watched the tunnel turn green
The quiet timbre of voices changing in a tunnel
I watched as my life turned green
For Abigail, so many years ago
I want you to see these two
One is clever
and dark
The other is earnest
and bright

These two men struggle
against each other,
for the same goal

Dark and clever, Ish
Earnest and bright, Sen

Sen was always the strongest
They would drink together at the bar
and Sen would always fight strangers in the alley outside
Ish would light a cigarette and watch
pushing his mop of black hair
out of his eyes
and grinning

One night it was raining,
with violence in the air like static
electricity
Sen was drunk and the bar was empty
except for those two

Let's fight
Sen said to Ish
Okay

They went outside, in the rain, with lighting spreading through the concrete

Sen was stronger by far
But Ish was quick and graceful

Sen swung and missed
and again
and again
Ish waited
Eventually Sen slowed
Ish landed one on his jaw
He was so fast
Sen went down,
hard
But Sen didn't quit easy,
He got up and landed one on Ish's nose
It broke, blood flowed like a faucet
Ish took a knee,
and smiled,
Okay

Ish lit a cigarette and Sen helped him up
They walked to the hospital together
On the way Ish noticed that Sen was missing a tooth,

They walked together
each envious of the other
and the rain kept on

— The End —