I strain a muscle the length of my right arm
lifting a haversack for a girl on a train.
What is she carrying? I wonder.
This heavy load, stones all the way from Athos?
I carried a weight that heavy, once. A stone
I turned over at the port of holy Hilander,
splashing in the blue shoal, waiting for the boat
to Jericho. It was like a rainbow. I couldn’t resist.
I kept it in my pack, by boat, bus, train. Then
I kept it to press the pickles in barrel, going
sour, and then it split, the rainbow’s colors running,
mourning for the sea, its one true brine.
the train to Prague, 12. XII 90