Marc Alan Di Martino
Note: I recently gave my first poetry reading at a small bookshop in Rome. (I've been writing poems for half my life, but somehow I'd never done this before.) It was a holiday, and I decided to brave the heat and walk from our family home past St. Peter's and across the Tiber to the bookshop - about a half-hour. As I walked, rehearsing bits of my poems in my head, it dawned on me that one of the poems I'd picked for the occasion - the title poem of my first book, in fact - describes in detail the exact path I was now tracing. It is a path I've traced since childhood, and have walked hundreds of times. It is likely the only stretch of road I've walked all my life - right through Bernini's columns and past Michelangelo's splendid dome! You might say I had a non-religious epiphany, a sense of things in life coming full circle, of continuity. I wrote this when I got home that evening, the day's imagery fresh in my mind.
So much beauty, so much misery
baked into these stones. I walk
and a sharp glint off travertine
gashes my eye, connects
solar lake to solar
plexus, my step as sure
as the silver crosses that shape
nuns' breasts. How strange
to feel at home in this place -
a pigeon has fashioned its nest
on the brow of a saint!
If epiphany ever comes
it will look like this.
© 2019 Marc Alan Di Martino
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