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Venice

‘Go there to fall in love.’

The Rialto Bridge.
Behind us ring strong Italian accents,
fishermen toss octopus and squid,
fifteen euro a piece.
The stench clings to the canal,
rides the turquoise waters
as a water bus pulls out.
Busy shoppers roll on,
ladies in mink, push two wheel strollers.

Our feet tread the dusty steps
as we pass another patisserie.
Purchase a croissant, sweet flaky
pastry, as I tear through its sticky crust.

Taxi boats, harbored, await a fare.
Deep singing resonates up from a gondolier.
Sleek black wood, gold trimmings and red suede
make a perfect love seat aboard an expensive ride.

We drop into a maze of narrow streets,
embroidered table cloths hang above
our heads, lap against the wind. The sun peeks in
and out, then back in over yellow stone walls.
Follow signs for vaporetto.

Water laps against the church wall.
It has become a large mirror
which paints a vivid Venice in inky
shades, distorted, misrepresented.

Go there to fall in love?

 

by Laura Hargreaves

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