PoetryIssue 16 | October 2012

Ponte dei Sospiri

by Sarah James

In a small siding of The Doge’s Palace,
away from the heavy oil paintings, leakage
of audioguide headphones and babel of tourists
pecking for historic titbits or cooing over gilt,
Guariento’s fresco shines in its paleness.
Even his half-faces have worn with the curve of haloes.
Though golds have drained to brown, harp strings
thinned, musician fingers faded to bones,
still the angels play, still Christ crowns his mother—
a ghostly Virgin on her Gothic throne. And still now,
two small unembellished windows play out this light
and dark in shapes cast upon walls and floor—
those same shadows that battle on blinds and drapes
in every room, creeping through cracks to hide
with apples and bottled water weighting our backpacks,
as we follow the stone echo of footsteps
down the skyless staircase towards the Bridge of Sighs.

About the author

Sarah James has been landlocked in the UK’s Midlands, confined to flights of imagination. However, she reports she’s been bitten by the travel bug again. Read her collection Into the Yell or visit some of the journals where her work has been published, including Ink, Sweat and Tears, Magma, and The Rialto. Visit her here.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok