Prague is No Escape
by Robert Bohm

    Like a knowledge you don't want to possess,
    the Vltava's night waters sound senseless.
    A crippled woman teaches her son to waltz
    on a narrow street close by, where a stone angel
    stands on a pedestal overlooking nothing that exists.
    On the river's other side, drunk nobles once threw
    three Pope-lovers to their deaths out a castle window.
    The river, knowing more than people do, whispers
    a message to its bank that the trumpet player in the club
    two blocks away can't replicate:
    the simplicity of a sound that is as close to silence
    as a sound can get and still be audible. Almost.
    The here and now is larger than we think.
    It includes the obscure south where Podravska is.
    Further down than that, two skinny knees,
    tinier than the living body's mouth is.
    Peel the burnt skin off this mesmerizing granny
    and see how ridiculous the unseeable seems.
    The bombed nursing home means nothing.
    A doctor with missing finger wants to piss in the latrine.
    He can't. It isn't there.

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