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(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.

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

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