Howard Firkin
Whatever had to have been cannot be.
Smoke rises to the pearl grey sky and weaves
itself unseen. Whatever had come leaves
and leaves to ’dream’ synonymous with ’see’.
You disappear like winter morning breath.
The cold rain falls like gravel hitting tin.
We wrap ourselves; we hide the selves in wool
and feathers, drawn inside the tidal pull
of womb warmth—let no heat out, no light in—
and make believe our body warmth cheats death.

I thought I saw you, walking with your friends.
You turned and smiled to them. Same smile.
Just different you. The winter morning ends
and leaves me nothing I can reconcile.