In a damp Venetian palace, Oswaldo contemplates the ravages of time to his body and his beloved city. In New York, Lach savors his freedom, having just dropped Vera to join his new love, Francesca, in Venice. In rainy London, Max packs for New Orleans, in pursuit of Lucinde, a woman he barely knows. From New Orleans, Lucinde flies to the aid and comfort of Vera, who has accepted a grant to paint in Venice. While elsewhere in the Crescent City, Anton, leaving for Venice, sketches a good-bye upon the slumbering body of his wife, Josephine. With wit, sympathy, and surpassing deftness, Jane Alison choreographs an intricate dance among these characters, whom love and loneliness, aspiration and desperation, have drawn to two famously romantic, venal, and elusive cities of water.