• At Herculaneum

    Ange Mlinko

    Winter 2019

    We were, you might say, dangling over the buried city.
    If this villa had a cellar, its floor would be the ceiling
    —tap it—to another, in shallow strata, but irreality
    in this case went all the way down, then back up, reeling
    (so to speak) in the accoutrements of a lost beau monde.
    Who was I there? A guest, a voyeur, a vagabond.

    The sitting part of the sitting room dominated
    by two grand pianos was—marginal. Like black mirrors,
    their lids pooled the light. Was it here the walls were red?
    The other parlor was powder blue, a style in arrears
    to a dynasty gone to dust. Each room staged a dialogue
    between colors with a touch of fop, a wink of rogue:

    a lilac wall by raisin daybed; saffron upholstery
    with sapphire mural, or celadon via mauve.
    A Baccarat chandelier bestowed a perpetual curtsy.
    The dinner service patterned after Romanov,
    the chairs a gift from the last queen of Italy . . .
    You see why I say it had the air of irreality.

    Ange Mlinko’s most recent collection of poetry is Distant Mandate (2017). She is a professor of English at the University of Florida. 

    Read More

    Web Design and Development by Riverworks Marketing