Fire and River

by William Doreski

Fire in the upper stories.
All evening I fish for bluegills;
my hands stink of dying river.
The Concord shrinks to a tapeworm.

Fire in a city dream.
You inhabit that building
and laugh because those who’d save you are dead
with strange women wrapped about them.

Years ago I saw you
go down in flames;
you admired the smell
of gasoline on my breath.

Cool evenings fishing without luck.
In the arc-lamps of Boston Common
on a hot August night
you twitch among daring men.

Can either of us
ever come home?
In tall office buildings
dream-lives feed the flames

and the clerks, poor goats,
graze among the paperwork,
of your dragon breath as you pass.

William Doreski’s work has appeared in various e and print journals and in several collections, most recently City of Palms (AA Press, 2012).