Autumn was an old Viennese street held up in sacrifice to the sky,
With burnt-song offerings that still see through the clouds, as they see through you.
His was cobbler craft of reed-winded flame for the foot in tune,
Amid the outsnuffed shopkeepers’ lights and the candlesmoke of midnight hours,
Pulsing above the inner heart of the Ringstrasse
Of brass signs and paving stones, misted and mute.
His was the candelabra of wick-notes
Wanded through the windowed rooms of forested night.
His were those woods filled with doorways, bookcases, and stairs
And everything dim and warm with people, no longer there.
The winter sunlight played across the keyboard of crypted windows,
And in the muted under-roofs of ice and snow,
On one window, like a hand in whole rest,
The caramelized glass swallowed the flame-image of the stray redbird
And the black carriage wheels that passed.
In the long hallway of the Viennese flat,
One candle remained lit in the mouth of song.
The Ringstrasse is the well-known road around Old Vienna, the inner heart of the city.
For a slide video of this and other poems, please check out my Instagram page at ChrisSaitta or my Tumblr page at Chris-Saitta.