There is a story in the man with his back to the fire,
and the fresh cigarette between the second and third fingers
of his right hand is part of his hypnotic effect;
when he goes up the chimney and back,
the story turns black;
this is the past;
the cigarette to his lips,
the smoke through his nose,
the bright-tragic eyes;
and I wonder what’s painted up there on the chimney’s insides,
what starry nights and streets lined with huts,
what flowers in the hair, what girls
by the well.
The story runs low; there’s ash on the bricks.
He swallows us all, like Charybdis.
I grow up like this.
The fire spits at the screen.
The fire spits, half-dreamed, dreams.