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Venice: The Jewish Cemetery on the Lido

By Will Wells Poetry

for Murray Baumgarten At night, under wraps, often none too soon, the ghetto gave up what it must—bodies rowed in silence across the long lagoon. Bora winds scattered dust on canvas shrouds intended to disguise Venetian Jews as freighted cargos—to ward off spit and stones. Dust and water, all the ablution Venice would bestow, faceless…

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Last Judgment in Ferrara

By Will Wells Poetry

Angels prod seven naked sinners chained together by their crimes. Pigeons mock them with excrement and the flapping of wings while God broods, impassive on his throne. From the marble portico, all gape down as demons stir a vat of the damned and season it with another soul, there on the cathedral’s storybook façade. From…

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About Angels: Cahors, France, 2007

By Will Wells Poetry

The angel has always been a strong metaphor to me, raising questions about life, death, and our timeless vulnerability. —Marcel Marceau   I am a Jew. My father died at Auschwitz. By 1938, the sorrows had begun. My name, Mangel, put me at risk. So I applied Marceau like blanching agent that stung at first,…

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