a girl

assumes an elegant posture
on the left foot, both
arms curving up towards the
sealedin stars and hissing smoke
leaning to the left, looking out
for the headlights of the next car
coming down manchester road
and here it comes -
she skips to the right and
points out horizontally with her right
arm. -
the shadow of the car did not touch her.
the headlights look very clear
as they come round the corner, still
she is making a show of
high over the heart of the womb of the
earth, lashed by neutrinos,
so cold that the bones wish to
escape through the panic of the body and
the nerves clamber in white lines.
she dances unhappily from side to side
from the curbstone to the gate-post
as the cars pass to and fro with
headlights clearing nothing in the sky
as the sensitive fingers, formed for
this night and place are numbed against
the chill swaddling of a new year.

FIRE 22, p 50; John Ash