White phosphorus to blinking eyes,
Bleach of beach bone from autumn of the gate
Then the sudden incandescence
Then the green
Then the warm mottling of the green
Then the crowds and hawkers,
Ramshackles and curbside blankets
Spread with trinkets.
It all fades once again—
The chalk white swells and fills the slate.
And my four year old affects a limp:
“Look! I’m tilted like that building.”
It’s not the stories
Nor the cultural trivia
Nor the film nor postcards;
Nothing recalls miracle
But miracle itself.
Dirigible expanse of Il Battistero,
Audacity of Il Duomo,
Visceral effect of Il Campanile.
To give report is to give lie—
To describe is to prevaricate—
The miracle grows maculate with words—
Memory shoulders the bounds of image.
But if everyone works their own witness
Can miracle hold out against the bazaar?
Will the crowds whelm the wonder?
The nature of miracle
Is to thwart the everyday.
From what my eyes have held
The piazza will never cease
To overpower its importunate scaffolding.
Uche Ogbuji was born in Calabar, Nigeria. He lived, among other places, in Egypt and England before settling near Boulder, Colorado. Uche is a computer engineer and entrepreneur whose abiding passion is poetry. His poems, fusing native Igbo culture, European Classicism, U.S. Mountain West setting, and Hip-Hop influences, have appeared widely, most recently in IthacaLit, Unsplendid, String Poet, Mountain Gazette, The Raintown Review, Victorian Violet, YB Poetry, Shadow Road Quarterly, Angle Poetry Journal and Featherlit. He is editor at Kin Poetry Journal and The Nervous breakdown.