The shadows reject appeals for calm;
a taut darkness waits in the hollows.
Narrow eaves overlook
the plazas where the pigeons feed on the discarded –
like us –
the piteous refuse of our fire-fevered modernity.

From the corner squats,
the stools support the weight of
the Watchers,
who understand what’s at stake:

There are black corridors which lead to questions,
and a labyrinthine set of deceits guide
the forlorn, on ragged knees, further afield,
back, away from listeners,
even away from recognizable answers,
all lifted, anyway, stolen and not
assembled along the edges of this urban blight
discarded from the Center, alight with another fire,
warming to the homeless hands who dare venture this far.

Wary eyes roll suspiciously this way and that.
A confetti´d stew of ash flakes and gray frozen rain fill the cups
while a scramble for position takes place on the roof.

From here, the grand fireworks display will be seen better.
From here, at least, all are closer to Heaven.

They never heard what hit them.

Rev. José M. Tirado is a poet, priest and writer finishing a PhD in psychology while living in Iceland. Read other articles by José.