A Garland of Light

Garrett Hongo

Summer 2019

I had taken a long walk from my hotel near the Colosseum,
past the antique earth colors of ruins at the Forum,
down busy, traffic-laden streets to the Trevi Fountain,
its lip ringed with throngs of tourists snapping selfies—
a father bending to the waters and cupping his hands
to offer his toddler son a cool drink amidst the glister,
sculptures of the gods serene but spouting an abundance
that lapped gorgeously over carved stone to the brilliant,
pooling fan that made this upwelling a semicircle of the bucolic.
I moved through to a kind of winding approach to the Steps
and descended, picking through the patches of crowds
huddled in an angling shade cast by the Keats-Shelley House.

Garrett Hongo was born in Volcano, Hawai’i and grew up in Los Angeles. His latest books are The Mirror Diary: Selected Essays and Coral Road: Poems. He teaches at the University of Oregon in Eugene.  

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