Sarajevo this fall

Cold slips inside thin coats, soaks shoes. Rain slides over domes washing entire horizons of onions in darkening tears. Unquiet mud oozes over bald cobblestones, hides shadows of old footprints. The bridge is skinny, too worn to bear all that history. Parapets are decked with a thousand petunias, velvet, dark red. Magpies hop in the wasted river, seek minnows, flies, or their own warped reflections. In the riverbed park syringa berries glow puffy white. Stone markers crowd within cracked walls, rusted grills. Prayer unwinds from a minaret. In a shattered apartment a battered trumpet, accordion, attempt a Mozart duet. On these windy quais I also learn the loneliness of those who wait at crossroads. Had Gavrilo Princip arrived in this colder season, his fingers might have shivered too much.

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