(Kristallnacht:  Berlin)

Damp shroud of night;

stone-shirted streets swept bare

of leaves by fitful winds

that skitter past splintered glass,

shop mannequins beheaded

in the road.  Shouts down the block

around the square.  A rush of sparks

where roofs fall in, tinting the

sagging bellies of low clouds.

Smoke, and a sense of slowly

being strangled, in the air.

The century turns its flat

blank face towards me:

hefts an unholstered truncheon;

grins, and glares.

Version originally published in Midstream, Vol. LIII, No. 3 ( Nov/Dec 2007)