New work by Joan Frank (fiction, ’96) appears online in TriQuarterly:

In Case of Firenze

Banishing the Voices

See the mouths open before you finish telling them you’re going.

Watch the breath being drawn. Watch the lecture-on-the-brink fire their gazes:

(Here is what you should do. Here is what you must see. There’s where you’ll find the darling old couple who will cook you the Renaissance Special. This is the exact street and stall and name to ask for and what you must understand to the roots or you cannot possibly claim to know anything about it.)

(Here is what you must think and feel about this ancient, compressed dream of red-tiled roofs and mustard and rust, salmon pink ochre, cocoa, café crème, Roman archways showing through in patches, fading frescoes across marble. Chunks of felled columns. Seven bridges over a brown river boiling through town day and night throwing light; cold mist cloaking the air, palazzi aligned like tired dowagers reporting to duty. Dark, icy museums packed with dusty relics. Long, sorrowful windows, splintering shutters. Towers of mossed stone buttressed by a sea of Tuscan green; carved passages surging with anthill traffic, cavalcades of light.)…

Continue reading at TriQuarterly. 

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