Anne Rouse

We’d left the cameras in the Hertz
But made St P.’s for the tourist Passion.
I knew one of the trio: permapressed, a little weary
This is what he did on his vacations.
A few bearded heads bled from the corbels.
We walked by the pleated steps of a temple
In whose maw someone was being tried with flame.

We took in the long galleria before lunch.
Sloan made some remark about art being vox populi.
I sent him back to the Excelsior with a flea in his ear.
The roofs stretched out, pale in the heat and peaceable.
Your shoulder touched mine. I could tell you were moved.
The wine and the drowse of pigeons dismissed
Any rancour between us. Rested we’d be as good as gold.