V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




Guests stood in small circles
juggling drinks and plates,
and chatted of vacations.
I nodded my way out the door
and down the steps.

Home early from a party—
buoyant, irresponsible,
like leaving at intermission,
or the day the boiler broke at school
and we all went to breakfast.

You want to make it special
so much it can’t be. Bedtime
rolls around as it always does
and you must devote ten minutes
to your teeth before crawling
in to read a chapter or two.

Inspector Brunetti is closing in,
but still has time for an espresso
on his way to the Questura.
Venice is sinking, the lagoon rising,
buildings crumbling, corruption
stinks, but Brunetti’s lot
seems pleasant—wandering along
the canal then hopping on a vaporetto.

As does yours, you think,
switching off the bed lamp,
turning on to your right side,
alert to the faint whistle of the train
moving through the freight yard
across town.


© by Vincent Wixon


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