Death in Venice

Christmas, 1998 / No. 2

I watch Gustav Ashenbach in his beach chair

as he watches Tadzio

wade into the Adriatic

raise a hand in farewell

the sweat of cholera running in

black rivulets

from the professor’s recently dyed hair

and cry with him

cry for his weakness

his love for Tadzio

not because it is unrequited

but because he in his ordered life

his ill-mannered way of keeping his distance

has left him open

to feel some fragile joy

to weep

like the interior walls of a

sanctuary on a summer’s day

Mary Ann Moore lives in Nanaimo, British Columbia. She facilitates Flying Mermaids, a women’s writing circle. Her poetry has appeared in the Church-Wellesley Review, Seeds, and Jones Ave. Last updated Christmas, 2006.