Halfway between the Equator and
the South Pole, Oamaru looks as if the last
battalion of Romans had only just pulled out.
imagined by Alberti and carved out of bone,
home to little bookish Persephones with orange afros.
City of my bright pagan vision.
to build Plato’s Republic, not a kingdom, by the sea.
Watch your step. The Gods hate hubris.
Antonio bemoans the loss of his ships
before the portico of the old National Bank, and burns
his secret candle for Bassanio.
Montague and Capulet despise
each other in Thames Street
while young Verona dies,
The Botanic Gardens are ruled by the other Panwith the detachable shadow and unshed milk teeth.
Earlier version published in Landfall, Spring 2009