twenty-thousand heartbeats


when your umbrella doesn't open
all that well
our guide laughs, asking if it was
purchased in Naples

before into the city we go,
with just enough rain
to darken Pompeii's streets

as the memory of washing

drying against orange
disappears in an instant

as the size of the place hits us

and we try to imagine the moment
twenty-thousand heartbeats
turned to stone.





Ashley Capes teaches Media and English in Victoria. He moderates online renku site 'Issa's Snail' and his latest poetry collection, a haiku chapbook, Orion Tips the Saucepan was released by Picaro Press in 2010. He occasionally dabbles in film and is slowly learning piano. He also loves Studio Ghibli films.