In a Tavern Garden Near Prague

by Ethan Scott

He had amassed broken scraps and limbs
Against the near wall. Heavy parts too old to work – for
Him: evidence of the life of gathered dead – the almost complete
Relief for the crippled foundation. He shifts his stance,
Puts his weight to battered machinery
He cannot lift himself.
It doesn’t matter that he went so far once
As to call it his own, nothing could
Bring this abandoned place back to life, he could do
Less and less himself. He clears jammed machines
Throws unassembled parts in the river. Of course he remembers
Nothing was ever made newer for this. For him
The spring is heavy, lifting
From the heavy ground, boughs
Still amidst explosions. And life
Is fuming now, trees that hissed
Undead out in the exhausted city.
Sometimes he notices how pollinated
The earth has become beneath him, and not minding
The stain on his worn clothes – the traffic
Forgotten – pushes aside the litter, and drops
His heavy body in the grass. He is feeling now almost
Ready to tear off those old clothes, a few more excess
Pounds to shed and he will have been long overdue.

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