To hear Karl Kirchwey read "Roman Park, Noon," click
The water, gray-green like your eyes,
blabs on in the absolute stillness.
The needle and thread of an old woman
move through a flash of white cotton
as she mutters, "Men like to kill."
A sphinx nearby rolls a man's skull
under its paw, prismed with
clear spray, and a girl's mouth
forms a grainy "O" of surprise
at the satyr lurking behind some acanthus.
Straight-backed girls play in the shade,
their blouses immaculate.
Two police officers water their horses
at the fountain's scalloped terraces.
A young man with a book
writes down the old woman's remark,
and the idled carousel's proprietor
reads a newspaper.
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