In this courtyard, overborne and
Cramped by shuttered rooms,
The leaded panes grown cataracts of light,
Moss grows between the stones
And a marble fountain plays.
It is small, unremarkable,
Nobody in here to view it, just a sparrow
Thirsting in the furnace of July;
Nobody in here and yet
The bowl is full of coins.
Maybe each of us comes alone
And again discovers what queens and princes knew;
Maybe they too, in their moments of distraction,
Trailed their finger-ends beneath the water
And, feeling it cool and simple,
Sighed and threw silver, leaving behind
Battered portraits of their ancestors,
Distorted by refraction
And by motion.
I will not throw a coin.
For all their praying, those who threw before
Are no less saved or lost. I would rather just
Recall them, these unknown dreamers, feeling
The benediction in the sun, the wish in the stone,
Their lives and mine
In the sound of