View from the terrace of the family's Brooklyn Heights apartment

Saturday, January 12, 2013


City I once saw in silhouette 
on a lager label
is now a-glitter, 
surrounding vineyards, silent river
statued Mainbrücke
    Residenz, Weindorf
all an easy walk from Marktplatz
Topping the highest hill
proud as the Vatican
and twice as formidable
is what I later learned to be
Festung Marienberg
one-time home of the duke-bishops

Looking up from Leistenstrasse
I am a peasant
unable to imagine the sway
  of whatever majesty 
lives in such a house

Marienberg was a fortress
Michelin explains
a millennium before the Christian comedy
but exhaustive research may not reveal
what bronze-age chieftain
m’lord bishop
or the owner of the brewery
would’ve had to say, when 

just before the War’s end
on a pleasant March day 
eighty percent of Würzburg 
    was demolished 
in a seventeen-minute raid.

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