Herculaneum (morning)

Tufa, its all tufa underfoot

and of course Mount Vesuvius stands beyond –

mist obscuring the upper slopes.

Cold rain, so unusual

falls and fills the pool in the courtyard

porphyry tiles, marble tiles

amplified and magnified under the water,

the amplitude of drops creating overlapping wave fronts

obscuring designs of little brown clams

and seashells from the shore,

where standing on a clear day

you can see the naval fleet with their proud prows,

linen sails undulating like the sea.

Tufa underfoot, rich black soil, green grass

Fine cobblestones on the boulevard

weeds are starting to fill a crack in a portico column.

The wine is sweet this morning,

the Epicureans laugh up the way.

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