oh island city

twice as old as Christ

Christ! these alleys, long, ‘tween stone and stone

narrow so harrowingly, approaching

their vanishing points, receding

into the distance as you recede into time

that I’m afraid as I lurch along them

(for I’ve met many a Pink Lady

over-infused with cointreau)

that further on I won’t fit

like the fat man in the eye of the needle

that I’ll get stuck! and never reach my destination

beyond the outer city wall – Fuori le Mura –

where Paul and his pals stashed themselves

after their shipwreck, yes old St. Paul

whom the peasants thought a god

when a snakebite slew him not

when he healed Publius, healed many,

how they fell over themselves! offering

Paul the best pad in town

but he was having none of that

“You’ll find me in Fuori le Mura,” he said

the grotto outside the walls



What Pegman Saw