Confluence of Hungers



A decade, and Wolfgang still speaks Armed Forces Radio.
The red currants, yellow pears, the Burg broken on the hill.
Wolfgang and his plate of cold cuts. Junie's cross
in her cleavage. Barker five days from Lucky Lights.

He is under the down in December, a black-clad woman lifeless
in the rocker outside their chamber. I will be moved when she winks,
he thinks. Junie, now downstairs, spreading jam on his brotchen.
The town has two churches separated by a bakery. Its ovens

tick and cool. They attend two services, lunch in the sun
in the Andernach. He notes the frost, the horse on his plate.
Bits of relish. How far from Wasserbillig
to Eau Claire?
leaving a small tip on the clear glass.

The Rhine breaks, the train leaves, grows smaller
as they near the Ardennes. He flips five pfennig the length
of the cabin -- even as he shouts, she sleeps through
the capitals: Aachen, Trier. He thinks: Constantine

at ten: his young back arched against cold water,
his eyes to the east. Nothing could be finer than a trip
to Asia Minor. Barker delirious. Barker bereft.