Blank windows, drooping flags,
gondola beaks tugging to be free.
Mile upon mile of churning green,
terracotta rooftops, glowing palaces.
The final bend is rounded
and we behold the bright, white dome.
We won’t disembark.
Enough to gaze on the basilica
and be dazzled.
It’s possible we will never get to Ithaka,
nor step inside the Madonna della Salute.
How did that poem go?
‘Ithaka gave you the marvellous journey.
Without her you would not have set out’,