I followed a group of Japanese
school children through the fish market
In the middle of Florence
While watching the writhing eels squirm
and the countless jellyfish give
slimy kisses to their neighbor's gray skin.
At the Uffizi I still smelled
the fish perfume on my skin
and felt the lips of the jelly
fish on my cheek. I was behind two groups
of Japanese students in navy
blue jackets ironed kahkis and plaid skirts.
Red Sketchers with untied shoelaces traced
down the floors like eels piled up in
long lines into narrow bottomless bins.
Then there was the primordal long wavy
hair of Venus. Venus born of the sea.
Venus bursting nude from the palm of her
island shell. The students, divided in groups
of boys and girls, shuffled in silent reverence
past the annointed feet of Venus.