Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza
These are not days of grace. In the morning
we wake to the half-heard sound of shouting
out in the street. On the pale walls the sunlight
spills careless, caresses from the paint
and blistered window-frames outrageous beauty.
Fixing the low gas stove with a broken lighter
you start to tell me how the girls in EUR charge
twenty-five euros for a hand-job. I
do not believe that you know this, but I can’t
unpick the lies within the lies, and so
we smoke in silence and drink coffee from
last night’s vodka glasses.
When the day is right,
we go to Sant'Ivo, which, of course, is closed
except on Sunday mornings, when we sleep late.
Outside in the Roman street prevaricating
between the traffic and god, we hesitate.
The squared curves of the courtyard beckon and repulse:
o wisdom, wisdom – is this still your world?
A Cambridge native, Sophy lives in Rome, where she teaches archaeology by day, writes by night, and stalks the Romantic poets whenever she can.
The Ekphrastic Review
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