I take the number 25 bus from Piazza San Marco north into the hills and get off at La Pietra—a stone marking one Roman mile from Florence. Behind the imposing gate, Villa La Pietra waits at the top of the long drive lined with Tuscan cypress trees.This fifteenth-century villa is the centerpiece of a fifty-seven-acre estate of Renaissance-revival gardens,a vast art collection, a library of over twelve thousand volumes, and olive groves with views of the Duomo.
Morning air pumped off, cannabis-induced despondency
Replaced him and her. Far away, his ball-playing days,
His cap floating on the river, his soft tissues
Like severed seaweeds. This happened in 1976.
From Barbarossa: The German Invasion of
the Soviet Union and the Siege of Leningrad
The first sign of arrival fills the air
when smoke appears, dark red, like iodine
poured into ethanol, a helix, thick
and turning. What the burning marks is time—
the seasons, warehouses of food consumed