Too Hot in Rome

In this heat wave my day became all surreal. Tried to get cool from the fountain spray a Piazza San Pietro and saw a landscape of the city in the fountain stain. And later, finally met Caravaggio in the Abbey Theatre Irish Pub. I did not ask about the stitches on his face. I will do a painting of him.







reminds me of Billy Collin's poem with the singing squirrel.
Palermo
by Billy Collins from the book Horoscopes for the Dead
It was foolish of us to leave our room.
The empty plaza was shimmering.
The clock looked ready to melt.
The heat was a mallet striking a ball
and sending it bouncing into the nettles of summer.
Even the bees had knocked off for the day.
The only thing moving besides us
(and we had since stopped under an awning)
was a squirrel who was darting this way and that
as if he were having second thoughts
about crossing the street,
his head and tail twitching with indecision.
You were looking in a shop window
but I was watching the squirrel
who now rose up on his hind legs,
and after pausing to look in all directions,
began to sing in a beautiful voice
a melancholy aria about life and death,
his forepaws clutched against his chest,
his face full of longing and hope,
as the sun beat down
on the roofs and awnings of the city,
and the earth continued to turn
and hold in position the moon
which would appear later that night
as we sat in a café
and I stood up on the table
with the encouragement of the owner
and sang for you and the others
the song the squirrel had taught me how to sing.

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