The city at night is bright,
not sunshine bright, even in daylight
the city mutes its colors under clouds,
but a dim bright, if there can be such a thing.
Lit trams and flashing neon signs
and the occasional candle flickering in a low window
of a restaurant---
These are my stars.
I follow the street lamps by the river,
tree light tree light tree light
my steps are uneven on the wide stones.
Uneven and worn down.
Just like the Czechs.
Just like my thoughts when I wander
the city at night---which isn't often, I admit.
I can't afford to let my thoughts wander
from street to street under protection
of intimate couples strolling ahead
of rowdy study abroaders staggering behind.
Danger does not exist under the starless sky
Night holds a painful beauty
It aches to be seen, to be admired, to be given lavish gifts---
But photos can't discern those desires.
So I give night my time, my attention.
I give it my thoughts, my fears, my decisions,
and in return
it gives me open admittance to myself.
It lets me wander, alone, down deserted paths,
under dark passages---
To where I fear to be in daylight.
-a poem from my journals