No one really believes those police barracks
are student dorms. Through shuttered windows
late-night dog-walkers on the path through the woods
have glimpsed truncheons and braided caps
hanging on bedposts and bedroom doors,
or heard raucous gypsy-bashing songs
ricocheting among sycamores.

The constables here carry revolvers
but buy their own bullets;
low wages keep the body count down,
though like any city
with a history worth knowing the capital boasts