Anthony Cappo

(On the Duna, Haraszti, Hungary)

My forked boatman, on obolus for your
troubles. You steer us steady from heavenly
vistas to terminal gate—a straight journey
to our straitened circumstance. Town
mute, trees indifferent, we have leapt
their element. Pulsing sky has places
to go. Darker things we soon will know.


Yes, we will huddle as the mottled sky
falls. As the factories sink into the river,
as another winter jabs its stiff fingers
into the land. Your head on my shoulder,
our bodies a seamless no against
approaching dark. Cold wind
breaches our coats. Our blood
rushes to meet it.


Vibrating, flashing red
or green, beeping,
sing-songing.  We glance,
we stare, we bend our ears
to your wavelength.  Wireless,
wireless, deliver us.  Deliver
us from isolation, from the daily
now. We leap
at your arrivals, we dance
to your strings.
Bring us
word from out there, of pulse
reaching to meet us.  Hangdog
we wait to be soothed, for news
from the place where somebody
loves us all.

Author’s note:  “On the Duna, Haraszti, Hungary” and “Elizabeth and I at Sunset”
are inspired by the photograph of Andre Kertesz. 

Anthony Cappo has been, at various times, a waiter, house painter, lawyer and jazz singer. He lives in New York City.