Jessica Piazza

Stroll the Venice Canals


A simulacrum of a copy of a Saturday,
today the palm trees guard the swaying
skiffs as if it always was this way.

We’re hand in hand, so never mind
the marsh, its harsher beauty drained
for straighter lines. Because you’re mine,

ignore the years of disrepair, the trash
that built and built until, so overwhelmed
by filth, the city shut it down. To see it now,

you’d never know its gritty history:
neglect that led to concrete fills, closures
ruins, experiments that failed. Why

dredge up the past beneath the trail
along the resurrected pleasure pier?
Better not to look, we think. This spring

means everything is good. We walk
the white-washed bridge on foot.
The water’s still. We do not doubt.

Jessica Piazza is the author of two Red Hen Press collections: Interrobang and (with Heather Aimee O’Neil) Obliterations, and the chapbook This is not a sky (Black Lawrence Press). Learn more at and