Killing a hungover hour in the drizzle
of an Old Town walking tour,
the guide points out a chapel wall:

'Two monks sealed themselves in–
could reach them with food on a long branch,
pour water to their offered mouth.'

A festival day, people pass by
bearing flags; flame in lanterns
glowing hearts through the rain.

'They took on Silence,
the rhythm of days;
moon disturbed their blood.'

The rain and the mist from the rain ruin time.
The procession dissolves in a flutter of jester rags,
drowsy as butterflies, confusing the street with colour.

'They took on the seasons, dreamed longer
to make themselves saints;
it was warm in the cell in summer.'

From the bar opposite, I keep vigil vaguely
as another shot of balsam floods the vein,
feeling there must be simpler ways;

though I can almost see
a sallow face in a spear of light,
flap of cowl caught on gold grate.

Published in 'Skylight 47'