City of Trope L’oeils

It goes without saying

that a newly married American

accompanying her husband

to Naples on business

wants to avoid

the stares

of handsome Italian men

and thereby

the appearance of impropriety

while sipping espresso

at a café outside the hotel.

Instead, she looks at a magazine,

perhaps Vogue.

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

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

She passes by Jesus Under a

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,

to blush.

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.

“Ancient Casserole”

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

Then I open the door and what should

but a garlic herb crust quite golden and

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

The white tarbais beans are not on my

but poke all about quite shriveled and

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

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