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Looking through the window
of a flat living
to check on
the invisible rain:

The men smoking outside
the pub, guffawing,
seeming not to notice,
their fires in hand
drawing pretend scripts
in the darkness
of unwatered stout.

The man waiting
bench-warming for the bus
reads the horoscope
with dry, unwrinkled pages.

In the alley by the pub,
a drunk man breaks through
his damp cardboard box
with a snore.

Down the street, near the park,
homeless men gather round
a burning barrel for warmth
and companionship.
The paper ashes feathering
up to catch the rain,
then returning as
twenties, fifties, and hundreds-
a perpetual fountain
of green fire.
The men gathered there
removing their shirts
for the heat that warms
empty souls.

Headed out, I reach
behind my head,
drawing my slight umbrella
as a mighty sword
against a petty foe.

Only the homeless
widen their eyes
in acknowledgment
of the dry deluge.