What’s Really in the Firebox?

With a wilted rose
carelessly dropped,
the enterprise soars over
chair factory debris
onto a turntable of nights.

Is it the heat
or crackle,
flicker or aroma
of burning wood
that walks you home?

Hearth is not such a dirty word.
Ash dump delicious,
keep the flue clean.
Love your chimney sweep.
Treat your fear

of bats flying
down and out
and around and overhead
with a simple,
braver beat.

Here’s hoping your cat
is still eyeing
winged movements
above in
the ever after.

A wrought-iron chandelier
and surrounding ribs
stare back—so fixed
the word “dangle” cannot squeeze
itself into the commons.

If you love the place
more than the people,
are you merely the thing
to pity, or
a true lover

of sidewalk ghosts
crossing narrow streets
to slip up tiny blocks—
so compressed and combustible,
renewable and releasing?

Vertical poetry at its best,
truth is the city never left you,
you left the city.

You heartbreaker,
living your unlicensed life
hoping to keep
your New Yorker status
perpetually renewed.

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