These Empty Streets

These empty streets,
Cold and desolate,
Warmed by the feet of a million tourists.
Cobble stones and crumbled walls
Decorated by ancient graffiti.
I walk on these empty streets
Wearing a brand new pair of running shoes.
Peering into an empty house,
A chain strung across the entryway.
I walk on ruins,
These empty streets once buried by ash.
The volcano looms in the distance,
Blurred by Naples' haze:
A faraway blue behind a pile of stones
And a house covered by a steel roof.
These empty streets.
A faded fresco protected by glass,
Of a woman with a hairstyle different than mine.
An empty brothel, an empty bathhouse,
The plaster of a dying man
Entombed in a display case.
These empty streets,
Labeled with white signs.
A tour guide with a thick Italian accent:
"I will show you the best place to take pictures."
I am walking on a broken city—
An empty city.
Slabs of white stone with missing corners,
A theatre without seats or a stage,
Broken columns, and chipped bricks:
What's left of Roman dreams.