It goes without saying
that a newly married American
accompanying her husband
to Naples on business
wants to avoid
the stares
of handsome Italian men
and thereby
the appearance of impropriety
while sipping espresso
at a café outside the hotel.
Instead, she looks at a magazine,
perhaps Vogue.
Of course, out of a sense of decorum,
she refrains from wearing 3D spectacles
while gazing at layouts of seminudes
lest a half-starved model
escapes the pages
and takes off down the street
in search of a slice of pizza (or lemon gelato.)
Later that afternoon
fresh from a little nap,
the lady goes in search
of the city’s artistic treasures.
She pulls a purple scarf
from her purse
and covers her sleeveless top
before entering San Severo Chapel
where she intends to view such sculptures
as Queirolo’s Release from Deception.
She passes by Jesus Under a Shroud
almost missing the illusion
of a sheer, frail gossamer
draped about the body
of the Christ.
There can be no mistaking though
the other veiled creation,
a transparent-marble masterpiece,
whose modest figure
Corradini deceptively displays
beneath a thin, fine gauze
causing the lady
to blush.
Just then the sound of someone singing
lures the visitor from the church
in time to find
no one at all
standing in the courtyard.
From whence came the Siren song
now suddenly silent?
She looks for a clue
but finding none
cannot be sure
she heard anyone at all.

--published by Burning Word



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