Drowning in Venice

by James Conley


Exiting Santa Lucia Train Station is to step into a labyrinthine aquarium.

Down the steps, the green waters of the Grand Canal murmur under the noise of the crowd.

Near the water line, the buildings look like parts of a coral reef. Above, they are the colors of ocean life.

Crossing the Ponte dei Scalsi is to dive into Venice. Teeming with life and constantly active, what is up is down, and what is down is up: Venice is the sea. The sea is Venice.

It has always been, and will always be.