Love Letter

. Once upon a time, Joseph Brodsky went to Venice and in more than one way never returned. He went back, again and again, always in winter, when it can be cold and rainy, when the water levels rise in what Venetians call aqua alta, and the canals lap around the architecture, licking the thresholds.

"Should the world be designated a genre, its main stylistic device would no doubt be water." I've said elsewhere that less than 24 hours in Venice on a rainy day began my own love affair with this city. Oh, the sun was out when I arrived, but the following day I splashed through puddles and smiled at romantic couples huddled in their honeymoon gondolas under umbrellas.

In , Brodsky has written a love letter, a prose poem, to the city we both love, he with more attention that I will ever be able to give.

"Part water, we serve beauty ... That's what the role of this city in the universe is. Because the city is static while we are moving. The tear is proof of that. Because we go and beauty stays."