Venice, Unaccompanied, by Monica Youn

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

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?