Oil on panel, central Italy, c. 1500

Set in the silence of pure perspective,
the ideal city has no people in it,
only buildings. On these streets Order rules
with a golden stylus, and in the balance
of dome and arch and door frame, we find
serenity, child of proportion.
Maybe this place is an alternate Eden
created by an urban God who hated gardens.
Or maybe this is Heaven just before Judgement Day,
and the buildings are simply waiting for the Chosen
who will rise from their graves to come and inhabit them.
At night when the clarity of light must finally fade
I hope that the Virtues step down from their columns to dance
a little or, better still, cook pasta in the invisible kitchens.