The first walls look frangible as a sliver of bark, yet
They endure. As they have endured two thousand years.
For me, tucked a corner of the fountain, they are
The only walls that matter.
Attempts at permanence rise everywhere:
The marble steps, the stone fountains, the painted shops
Left and right, but only here
Does the sun send a light that dissolves time.
This room is ancient, eternal.
A throbbing cavern, an incandescent dome.
Light pierces the shadows beneath its pillars.
It is a home for the soul.
Tidy bells of nearby chapels chime,
These clang in almost-rhythmic, aboriginal tones.
Other roofs keep out the sun and snow, but this
Is a wide open eye through which all nature pounds.