'Error is the Sorrowful Legend,'
Steve Mereu
Karren Alenier

The Ascension
Petrognano, Tuscany

First, the fear of plummeting
over the edge; then what might be
met in the moonless dark: bats,
scorpions, the hand of Dante's
Lucifer poised for a fatal
pinch. Carry long tapers, hissing
with hot light. Pick up the skirts
of your penitent robes. In the morning
birdsong and chapel bells awaken
you to the panorama: the red tile roofs
of San Genaro and Colody, the silver
green leaves of olive trees, golden
globes of pendant lemons, intoxicating
incense of white jasmine, a galaxy
of earthly stars.