The ring of churches, the splash over the dovecot
flow with a blueness into the window.
With a warm October morning it’s easier to understand
what drew the pagans into Italy.
Still not having removed the goat-footed overcoat,
they played with the vines of grapes,
and the strange delight of wine comforted them,
Cupid aimed into their chests.
Thus became the Italians — having fixed
numb, manmade idols
whose spirit entered into their blood and their substance,
conjoining eucharisms with the choir of Roman laws.
and I, a vandal, here lavishly spend lires
on grappa — the crème of Dionysian poisons.
Allow that towers are disposed to fall — to fall
is not their fate, even if the rumbling of the arcades
of houses comes not from the sounds of birds,
but the passion of a thousand motorcycles.
And in the count of a hundred thousand — from heat, from rain
from the enemy – are hidden store-front windows,
and you drone, Bologna — a swarm of bees
in grand podestá, sensing the leader!
You’re — in armor. From a northern country
you carry to the south the signs of ruins,
and obscure, stone dreams.
The dove eat the lead from a blind wall.
Through visors your sons view the world,
in the dark of their eyes, melting flame.
During the evening here — a carnival and feast,
and the theatrical temper pleases me:
in you united tens of Helsinors —
you, Bologna, were created by Shakespeare.
You ask, passionate: “To be
or not to be?” — arcade-playing…
Be! Be in the form of an overcast heaven —
dip your lips, I beg you, don’t destroy…
Alas, impersonating squires
entrust their curls to plastic orbs —
the motorcyclists, in full-gallop,
cry “arrivederchi” and “prosti.”