At Punta Della Dogana, a cellist
seated under the arcade, is playing
melodies from operatic arias.
It is early evening. A fog horn sounds.
A cruise ship is sailing for Dubrovnik.
With a tug at the bows to pull, one to steer
at the stern, The Queen Elizabeth –
its superstructure higher than St Mark’s
Campanile, moves slowly toward us
through the Giudecca canal. Passengers,
silhouettes on the top deck, look down
on the packed, diverse crowds jostling along
the Riva Degli Schiavoni,