II. Marco Angelo’s PuppetMuseum Tour (Come Upstairs) The flame-like moment our eyes locked, Marco Angelo was lifting his Naples yellow And peony-pink awning, And after a lush, prolonged stare, Don Intensity, With his prophet-long hair, deliberately Lowered the awning again, So I was impelled to amble past His suddenly reopened store And inviting woodcarver’s workshop Once, twice, before summoning My All-American stars-and-stripes resolve To venture inside, where, As a dumbshow tourist in Ortigia, The bewitching island offshoot of Syracuse, I pretended to browse, Musing just how long I could sustain My finicky shopper’s ruse, My mostly lust-fueled performance, Before fleeing, in a clumsy flash, With a heartfelt buona sera— Finally, in an affable, committed voice, Marco Angelo proclaimed: My two brothers and I, we have A whole collection ofrare And even precious puppets, Little stages, woodcarving tools, and old posters, Yes, a museum— Please follow me upstairs; Let me show you— In a cat-quiet corner Of the remarkable puppet collection, I confess, I came for the first time From the pressure of his formidable, Sinewy arms, from the shock Of his trimmed, cologne-scented beard And care-taking tongue: Page 30 - Nine Mile Magazine

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