Like Life Itself

                Nulla riposa della vita come
                la vita.

                                —Umberto Saba


From a table on the terrace the square
opens out in successive waves of attention.
The woman sits before a glass of wine
as if a talisman or offering
to the genius of the place.
                                                She is not young,
but neither is she old enough to know
how rare these moments can become in time.
But for now, the scene in a wash of light
is more vivid than perception accounts for:
The flower cart with cascades of nosegays,
unhurried couples strolling or sitting near
the little brimming fountain of worn marble,
the pastel buildings wearing balconies,
all are like an unfolding revelation
in the heart.
                      At her ease, nothing could be
easier than this fall into being
or beauty or just life itself—from which there is
no rest but for moments like these in the square.