“Audaces fortuna iuvat.” “Fortune favors the bold.” ~ Virgil
“Virtue has a veil, vice a mask”. ~ Victor Hugo
Costumed in red and yellow they scamper through the streets
and knuckle the doors
the hot sun pooling,
as if splashing,
molten hot from a crucible,
around their feet
the Carnevale is coming….
Porcelain, peacock blue, emerald green and gold mask the windows,
and the air is an elixir,
and the very stones smell of chocolate,
of sour spilled wine and orange peel.
Stained by magic old and new,
by sex and mystery and rainstorms.
Demons and Courtesans eye each other familiarly
while the golden tower is carried through the square
and a humming cry spirals up from the crowd,
its energy bending and glowing as if the moon were melting.
Beads my darling?
the vendors sing
Jugglers and fortune tellers and disappearing doves,
prayers of the faithful
and faithless alike in a cacophony of rich wanting,
Masks make fortune and her other lesser known sisters much bolder,
and nothing more than breathing in the river of scent can bring a flush to your face.
And the feeling rises in you until you are sure its vibration can be heard by others
like the buzz of human cicadas,
as if you are Orpheus’ lyre
and will lead them out…
Look up and gasp at the flight of the angel
and then clasp each others eyes as if to confirm it was seen
and let the details dance past you,
parasols of black web lace,
The Carnevale is here…..
Senses swim and clutch for more befuddling
as the sweetest of vices
echoing like deep night fox song.
Around every corner a tableaux plays out,
in real or restrung time.
she held a finger to her lips
he wondered where she found a mask with wings
and then she flew away…
Count them all,
like the seconds after a lightning flash,
sweets and eggs and candles in windows,
guttering on gravestones grown suddenly fresh,
and the music plays all around you but no musician is present,
and that does not surprise anyone.
in this uncreated night,
this wild revelry,