by John Williams
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,
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
cheap watercolor of itself,
tears pitched over the high balustrade,
where they gradually become
an honest promise of fish.