"Fumarole"


“You know,”

Tony said with a smile,

“they’d like

to vent volcanoes.”

“Drill into them

to relieve the pressure—

imagine

gas escaping.

like steam

from a giant’s teakettle.”

We were drinking coffee

at the counter of Abe’s

on Bristol Street.

Two eggs up, bacon,

and a toasted bagel.

Tony had given up

on the bagel.

He was missing

two front teeth

and his face looked like

he had lost an argument

with a Mixmaster.

He was tall and dark

with a laugh as contagious

as measles.

But somewhere,

in the tangled machinery

above his eyes

he had a screw loose,

and out of the blue

he would blow.

Then, for a few

frantic minutes,

Tony was a human

wrecking ball.

Last night,

he had hunkered