In our time we have sashayed by the Arno,
we have loitered on the Ponte Vecchio
in our time – as if Beatrice and Dante
were liberated from their fine romance,
their courtly allegory of love,
their dalliance with Mariolatry.
But even in Florence it rains, cascades
down the Basilica and the Uffizi,
darkening terra-cotta, marble, limestone.
Lovers repair to bars for sambucas
each with three coffee beans – the holy
trinity of health, wealth and happiness –
to be lit then snuffed before imbibing,
like brief votive candles.