Discord in the backseat. Once, as a child
in Rome, I paused too long next to a parked
car at the sound of our neighbor’s voice, wild
and weird. “Leccamela tutta,” she barked.
Lick it up. Blake talked to fiery angels.
Dama Belle in black also knew secrets
but did not explain what, “finding Naples
on a map,” meant. Later, wayward spirits
would teach me how to make my own earthquakes;
but, back then, as both car and my neighbor’s
voice shook, I gawked through the fog-caked window,
baffled. “Fiery the angels rose.” Blake’s
voices were not mine. He saw holy choirs
and I saw la Dedova, the Widow.
“Leccamela tutta,” is an Italian phrase that falls somewhere between, “lick it all up,” and, “lick my pussy.” In 1765, when he was only eight years old, Romantic mystic and poet William Blake is said to have had his first vision when he saw a tree full of angels in Peckham park. Naples is the third-largest city of Italy, after Milan and Rome.