Cut off the ears of winter
they have overheard too much,
where incinerators burn,
where rubble-strewn streets
are covered in dust from the remodeling.
Again, the doe-man in mauve cashmere—
the nerve of him—in the never world 
(where ashes are harvested) where 
ashes rain down in glory, a jackpot
of answers. Tonight, the underwriting 
of desire is an inky carbon copy.
I have already—that last time drunk
on scotch. Then all morning
a chain gang of transvestite prostitutes 
litters the front yard—the Police Station 
next door also on fire, burning,
burning handcuffs, the soles of shoes
not holding the earth, cars skidding 
everywhere, the tire’s frame sets sparks
along the road. This is my last dollar,
last cigarette, last match.

From Cut Off the Ears of Winter by Peter Covino. Reprinted with the permission of New Issues Poetry & Prose, Kalamazoo, Michigan. All rights reserved.