A Postcard from the Wanderer

Today’s is a postcard I bought on my first visit to Prague, and it shows a street from the old Prague ghetto.



Prague is a weird city. I remember
the puppets, the crowds,
and feeling that the caryatids
wanted to crush me with
their wounded glory: “Embrace us!
Embrace us!” And I was stunned,
and I was weakened by the love
malicious of the walls, the curtains,
the stairways, the beds…

Pisa is the opiate city.
I remember rain singing along
the shoulders of my borrowed attic,
the nights purged of dreams,
revellers I heard but never saw,
and the promise of danger, the promise…

Bruges is the city where death
is a lover.  I see the silence,
latched even on the tongues of the tourists,
the psalms erect in every building,
the devotion without need for faith.

Streets that punish, streets that slumber,
streets that pray, arms extended
to receive the humbling gift of feet –
they have blessed my homelessness,
and I can worship no god
but that of trees uprooted.

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