Venice, Unaccompanied, by Monica Youn


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?
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