Tuesday, February 24, 2015



On this summer night,
anything seems possible.
Warmth rises,
doesn't pall.
Buildings soar,
but enfold our park.
When the music starts,
you can imagine
the shadows of buildings
giving birth not to sound,
but to colors
which appear,
like trace elements,
then leave
when the music ends.

Dvorak wrote this symphony
in New York,
So, like New York,
it rises on crowds
and arranges
the sky.
He shook hands
with porters, drivers,
duchesses, freed slaves,
musicians in thrall
to a city.
He said it waited
for Czech folk songs,
but you can hear
the strains of New York
and the South
so present
that they almost pledge
their allegiance (without god, then).

Like New York,
it preens, yells,
then almost vanishes
into cafe smoke.
Then, as if to confound,
it flies into a dance,
as if it knew the Rockettes
before they appeared.

The last notes sweep
trees, roofs and air.
No stars, but the clouds
drift and reveal a moon
blurring into shapes
of city monsters,
the kind that menace,
then leave for the subway.

We will leave soon.
We too will rush
into imitation dark
that flies to all
the familiar stations.
Like Dvorak,
who walked where we walk,
but did not know underground,
we head into streets ending
in lights blinking faster
than any stars.

When he was homesick,
he looked for Prague.
but instead found 59th Street.

One day we will visit Prague
and look for New York.

How many rivers
did he find
until the Vitava
became the Hudson?

How many lights
will blinker on and off
for us
until the East River
into a Czech day
and pretends
to be home?

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