Howard Firkin
(What’s on fire?)
The street is full; unnoticed miracles
are hustling. Footpaths are a stage; stars shine
in cameos against the brickwork. Night
comes floating down like feathers when a bird
is shot in flight, or perfume from a doorway.
The children peek out of their hiding places:
the adult bodies they cohabit, faces
illegible as hope—the counterfeit
they deal in. "Mister?" all they need to ask
you with the moistened question mark you hear
a dozen times in thirty silver yards.

Walk past the jaundiced moon left burning there,
the dollar coin you spot beneath the bench
but can’t decide to pick up. What’s on fire
to fill the air with this peculiar stench?