It’s all so Italian, what with the little fountain
and the shutters and the piazza clotheslines
and the drunk tourist couple leaning on
each other leaning on a bench. That’s us,
laughing, since we don’t know how to say
anything else. We stifle the sound as an Italian-
looking bush rustles and spits a clump of children.
They stand in line and their leader says a single
word and then another and now they’re the laughing
ones. At some cue they pour into another bush.
I know I’m supposed to think this is folksy.
I’ll likely retell this story as something authentic
that happened to me. I feel like I should take
a photo with one of these kids and make it
my Facebook profile picture,
but right now they’re just killing the vibe.
How’s a guy supposed to put the moves
on his lady while being watched by some
10-year-old brats in bushes across
the piazza? Might as well forget the hot
tipsy Venice air, and never mind how she
looked licking ceci e pepe from her Chanel lips.
It’s over, finito, the Italians win—which is
what they must be shouting as they follow
us home, their little scooters in tow.
Danny Caine's work has appeared in Mid-American Review, New Ohio Review, and Minnesota Review, among other places. He hails from Cleveland and lives in Lawrence, Kansas where he is managing editor for Beecher's.