It feels unearthly to stand where they stood,
to see over the walls that once held roofs
And protected families from wind and rain.
To casually weave through the homes of an entire lost civilization
Can leave one feeling melancholy.
It can leave one feeling undeniably, inconceivably human.
It makes it nice to step away.
To have the privilege to file back onto a cramped bus and
Watch it all disappear behind you.
I imagine as I prop my legs up and count the minutes
That Vesuvius starts smoking as we ride away,
A distant, two thousand year old memory.
Tick, Tick, boom.
As I stand on the steps of La Panoramica,
I watch the sun slip away behind the mountains
And I drink in the gentle orange light,
Feeling like an imposter that won the lottery.
I want to swim, or climb, or walk and just keep walking.
I want to open my chest for the evening to climb inside.
By the time we have finished dinner
The sun has run away
And the lights of the city below are calmer,
And somehow friendlier,
Like they want to be looked at.
There’s something about the air in Italy.
You don’t breathe it because you have to,
You breathe it because you want it.
-Karen Stewart, Junior