Bacco-Lungarno Cellini

By Saudamini Siegrist

The semi-marble stone is stained, the god
staggers. Wine is spilled from the tilted dipper
in his hand onto modern concrete, sacred
grapes are trampled underfoot. No wonder

bombs are falling onto earth and hell is broken
out. The gates of the inferno are open,
guards seduced or sleeping on the job. It happens
every so often, human sacrifice, certain ruin.

What the carnage has to do with Bacco,
enshrined beside the Arno, nobody
remembers. Nobody knows if mouth and thigh
darken with wine or blood, if the cup

is fermented or consecrated. The scene is enacted
naked, midsummer night street theater, the whiteness
of moon and stone extinguished, blotted out.
Wine or ink? Ink or blood? A carcass

without vengeance, without forgiveness. The payload
of traffic deafens artillery. Is anyone aware
war rages? History reruns. God is dead
drunk, cocksure. It was all decided long before.



Saudamini Siegrist was born in Montana and grew up in the West and Midwest. She earned a doctorate in English literature at NYU and a master’s in poetry at Columbia, and has taught at St. John’s University and at Fordham University. Her work has appeared in Salamander, Free State Review, Studio One, The Worcester Review, Zone 3 and Al-Raida Journal and received a nomination for the Pushcart Prize. She currently lives in New York City.

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