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Clade Song 3 Left

Clade Song 3

Virgin_Putto_Pigeons@the Campanile

Tuned to the scale of A, each of the five bells in the Campanile

           may ring at once:  the Marangona signal the workmen to stop,

                       the Trottiera and the Mezza Terza urge the horses to hurry the elders

                                   to Doge’s Palace, and the Nona confuses everyone:  

                                               it’s midday now, for centuries.

Galileo aims the first telescope across the piazza to ships

           in the harbor.  An acrobat descends a tightrope down

                                   the tower to the loggia— pigeons poise

                                                           on the head of a marbled virgin.  

                                                                       Maybe you stood here

as I did:  once, twice, a thousand times— air bright, spackled with semblances.  

           Maybe you saw the Campanile crumble, then resurrect: a newsreel

                                   spun on forward.  Maybe you will be here

                                               when the sea level rises,  water not abating.  

                                                           Venice, my lagoon:  deep & inward—

Maybe you will rise over the ochre rooftops, past the Basilica, your face overlaid

           with a million faces.  All the antiquities drown, the eternal breaking,

                       shuddering to that last doomed bell sounding:

                                               —the smallest:  the Renghiera

                                                           evil deed: mark our execution.



Clade Song 3 right

Amy Pence authored the poetry collections Armor, Amour (Ninebark Press) and The Decadent Lovely (Main Street Rag). Her hybrid work on Emily Dickinson, [It] Incandescent, was a finalist for Tupelo Press’s Snowbound Chapbook Award and the Colorado Prize for Poetry, and her essay on Dickinson and her biographers appeared in The Writer’s Chronicle.  She lives with her husband and her daughter in Carrollton, Georgia.