City of Trope L’oeils
It goes without saying
that a newly married American
accompanying her husband
to Naples on business
wants to avoid
of handsome Italian men
the appearance of impropriety
while sipping espresso
at a café outside the hotel.
Instead, she looks at a magazine,
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,
out of decorum,
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.
My mother’s own mother
and many another
going back to Toulouse
have slaughtered to the goose
the fowl and the pig
to make a stew twenty quarts big.
I stand by the oven trying to peak
at what’s taken all day but seemed like a week.
Then I open the door and what should appear
but a garlic herb crust quite golden and dear.
Though it may seem a bit dumb,
I poke under the crumb,
but instead of finding a fatty feast
I discover a dish fit for neither woman nor beast.
The white tarbais beans are not on my side
but poke all about quite shriveled and dried.
The bouquet garni has crumbled.
My hopes have now tumbled.
The duck is amock.
I’ve run out of luck.
Oh my. Oh my.
Hello and goodbye.
Ave atque vale,
Lara Dolphin is a freelance writer. Her work has appeared in such publications as “Word Catalyst Magazine,” ”River Poets Journal,” “The Foliate Oak Literary Journal” and ”Calliope.”