Waking on the train, I thought we were attacked by light: chrome-winged birds hatching from the lagoon. That first day the buoys were all that made the harbor bearable: pennies sewn into a hemline. Later I learned to live in it, to walk through the alien city— a beekeeper's habit— with fierce light clinging to my head and hands. Treated as gently as every other guest— each house's barbed antennae trawling for any kind of weather— still I sobbed in a glass box on an unswept street with the last few lire ticking like fleas off my phonecard I'm sorry I can't stand this, which one of us do you love?
This evening, I sat by an open window
and read till the light was gone and the book
was no more than a part of the darkness.
I could easily have switched on a lamp,
but I wanted to ride this day down into night,
to sit alone and smooth the unreadable page
with the pale gray ghost of my hand.