Post Road Magazine #26


Jennifer Barber

Cornices in ochre and white,
a gallery at one end, a café at the other,
a statue of a playwright
in his morning coat.

Early, the café
empty, the gallery empty,
the owner, red-haired,
framed by the doorway, keys in hand.

Early. No one's visiting
the cast-concrete
memorial, set like a box
in the middle of the Judenplatz.

How are the same
apartment buildings where they were?
How is it that Vienna is
Vienna, waking in the light?


Jennifer Barber

A room just big enough
for a bed and a night table.

The cheap old Portable Chekov
falls from my hand
with the words It was evening

which I know are followed by
an evening in spring
and the regiment, in town.

The kiss the awkward shy
soldier will steal
from a woman in the dark
drawing room will have to wait.

I've turned the metal key
that turns off the lamp.

The pine boards
of these walls
are a forest of their own.

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