Attractions by John Allman



Pula, Croatia

A triumphal arch, an ancient church, but long before that, Medea prayed all night here, thinking the sunset a fleece. Her brother’s blood smeared across the sky. His men in pursuit. These meat patties we’re eating at a sidewalk café taste of remorse. Betrayed polis. But no one is chasing us, no one afraid to turn back, a crane swinging out over the blue harbor to hook onto a cargo of refrigerators from Slovenia. Opposite us the clerk in the Wechsel window yelling at an Asian man who stumbles through English like a thicket. That’s what happened to Medea’s pursuers—turning on strangers, where they were strangers themselves. The vengeful twitch Dante felt in his cheek when he walked through here—expelled from his city—now only the last reverberation of a water truck sprinkling cobbled streets.