Raymond Alexander Turco


The Western Wall is notes perfumed

with a love two thousand years wide.

I accidently brush hands pressed

with sweat and hope.

The bazaar of Marrakech

is leather and sour sumac.

The vendors’ ululations are

my call to morning prayer.

Though I haggle with no one,

I am never alone.

As I’m carried away in a whoosh

of motors, the streets of Trastevere

hold me tight and smell of tripe.

A laundress with the voice of a toad

barks romanesco at a man

from Bangladesh who hawks roses:

They are both Rome to me.

I can feel the cobblestones sinking

and hear the lagoon erode the gondolas,

but my bigoli in salsa whisper

in reassurance: There will always be

a Venice in my memories.

The Prague Clock of the Old Town Square

sounds like the face of a friend

as it rings out the places of the stars.

The underground trains speed

toward prosperity, the intercom

voices are a confident polka.

The salesmen of Soviet berets

sing dirges; their nostalgia

is their currency and their deceit.

Prague is the city of the future

of the past.

Cities without sight are

Luna Parks for the mind.


Raymond Alexander Turco is a poet and playwright born in Hackensack, NJ. He writes poems in English and Italian and has a special affinity for European history, surrealism, magical realism, and absurdism. The author of nine stage plays, he has published his poetry in the Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, and with Bordighera Press.