would be easy, you’d think: there’d be
a _______________of nuns (choir, convent, coven,
clerestory, clique, cloister?).  but only three or four
glide past me.  more tourist-clergy all in black in Roman swelter
no monks or friars save me in mufti in the shade
over this hour of waiting.  more African vendors
festooned with bracelets and bangles, some scarves,
some odd multicolored phone gadgets, vuoi comprarlo?
and the old man in a T-shirt guarding bags of trash,
every few minutes sweeping a wrapper and retreating
to Roman shade.  the snakes of badged tourists stream
in undulating waves ears tuned to the guide in front.
now a choir young singers clutching scores dressed
in black suits, black skirts, off to some vatican do.
and waiting.                     
                         until i realize the title of my next poem:                     
                         “stood up by a nun in rome.”