from “The Last Bohemian of Avenue A”

I know Rome’s seven hills
& huge outcrops of marble,
icons of Etruscan terra-cotta
& fossilized wood. I can feel
the trees & dodging animals
trying to speak, begging to be
not gazed upon & numbered,
& for me not to polish my solos.
A question’s raw tone nestles
inside me, against my rib cage,
asking, How does one caress
a violin bow after a couple
fiddles hours for bread & vino
in the watery glow of the Trevi,
or how can a young painter touch
his or her canvas after staring
seven days at a Caravaggio?

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