Hillel and his wife are in Prague this week. I am SO damn envious! I’ve only been there once and that was more than 20 years ago. It was back when Czech strangers would approach you at the train station, inviting you to stay with them for an exceptionally modest fee—this was actually a great way to find a cheap B&B and it was safe.
That winter, when Jen and I visited—ten years after Prague had opened to the West, the city was still mega gritty. The main train station didn’t look like it’d been cleaned in more than a century, if ever. Most of the buildings along Vodičkova Street were shrouded in soot and cloaked in scaffolding. It felt like Jen and I had stepped back into history. I imagine the joint's all shiny, sparkly clean now.
Hillel, I need more pics, man!
by Stephen Dobyns
The day I learned my wife was dying
I told myself if anyone said, Well, she had
a good life, I’d punch him in the nose.
How much life represents a good life?
Maybe a hundred years, which would
give us nearly forty more to visit Oslo
and take the train to Vladivostok,
learn German to read Thomas Mann
in the original. Even more baseball games,
more days at the beach and the baking
of more walnut cakes for family birthdays.
How much time is enough time? How much
is needed for all these unspent kisses,
those slow walks along cobbled streets?