In Amalfi we escaped the midday glare
in the cool shadows of the cathedral's nave
waiting out the progress of the Mass.
Then suddenly, a gift!
We'd stumbled on a wedding.
Far forward on the chancel step
the priest cupped his hands
around the hands of the bride and groom.
Down the aisle
husband and wife swept toward us
on a swell of music.
We followed the crowd, our tourist garb
in contrast with the elegance
of satin-sheathed, tuxedoed guests,
their murmuring incandescence
suddenly overpowered by
the bright polyphony of bells.
Outside a shower of flower petals, orzo
and pasta pieces shaped like scrota
peppered the wedded pair.
I picked up several from the duomo stair,
as though forgetting I had ever seen
a man and wife before.

Now it's Friday in Sorrento.
Men and women are shepherding
their kids from school.
The engines of their Vespas idle,
filling the narrow street behind
the piazza and our pensione—
a ruckus mingling
with the noontide bells.
I finger wilted petals, pieces
of the pasta genitalia collected
on Sant' Andrea's steps.
Daybreak and nightfall,
my angelus, my astringent grappa.
In my pocket, the traces linger
of the meridian's arc and fire.

– lucia galloway