Orange paper lanterns torn down by last night’s thunderstorm melt on the pavement.
Under the arcades in San Marcos Piazza, the sleepers dream of how they danced to the orchestra still playing in their heads. In low tones at the end of the bridge, two gondoliers discuss the festival. All the shops are locked and dark. Third story shutters remain cracked open. On top of blankets and sheets bodies lie in sculptured poses. Street sweepers with brushwood brooms clean cobblestones, unaware that a bloated cat floats in the Grand Canal. Nailed to a wall, a small shrine holds one fresh rose by a picture of the Madonna and child. Back at San Marcos Piazza, a pigeon seed vendor sets up her cart, until forty soldiers armed with rifles march into the square. The sergeant shouts.All his men salute and hold the pose, while flag bearers simultaneously raise the colors of Italy, Venito, and Venice on three poles. After the soldiers march away, tourists scatter as do the pigeons.The bells in the tower chime nine, and the morning begins with coffee.
"Venice by Early Morning" published in Z Miscellaneous.