Jan 132010

by John Williamsvltava river prague


Spires, saints, evil-faced children

memorialized in church corners.

They’ve each a mouth

from which words like bees spiral, swarm,

promise what they lack inside,

proffer the world from empty hands.

Bored artists donning false enthusiasms

display their canvasses somewhere over the Vltava.

Lovers one smile from ruin

therefore clinging all the tighter

speak loudly, are noticed

somewhere over the Vltava,

then vanish back into fog

once the passersby thin.

He’s enough eyes for a city-

the quiet, half drunk fisherman

directly below the Charles Bridge,

out of sight, upon the Vltava.

For him, there is no catch,

hands empty

but holding the world.

He made of a stone

that could be cathedral or prison wall

but passes the judgments of neither.

When fog thickens into night

one lover will suicide

while the other turns softly in her sleep.

The fall is short

but water forgives

and accepts unto it

anything offered-

cheap watercolor of itself,

camera flash,

tears pitched over the high balustrade,

where they gradually become

an honest promise of fish.