Upon the lake of Como
Arose a ruby sun
In the red-wine eyes of the boys and girls
Another day's begun.
They laugh awhile and play awhile
And ski upon the lake
But the cicadas purr in the evening time
And it all becomes a fake.
Beyond their old basilica
In a locker they lie their dead
Two foot wide and two foot high
The names inscribed in lead.
A photo adorns the little stone box
They pile upon the row
But never again will a red-wine smile
Ski on lake or snow.
At six o'clock the skies are rose
A gale will end the calm
The red-wine kiss will fade from the lips
And the smooth skin from the arm.
They file their dead
In an indexed house
Sealed in stone so that even a mouse
Can find no bone to chew.
Their lives they lived in water and sun
They laughed in the scent of wine
But in the grape they cannot grow
no spirit returns to the vine.
Lay not up your dead in stony boxes
O Comesi -
lest at some harvest
your grapes should fail.