Kafka

by Barbara Siegel Carlson

Two o’clock on his way home.  Sun beats
down his neck, so he takes a different route.
A pigeon begins to gurgle
as though calling Franz, Franz,
your dinner is ready The voice sounds
like his old nurse who gave him oatmeal in bed and told him
the story of a man whose back was scarred
with a map of a city.  A building’s
on fire — the walls roar
into the sky.  For a moment a human figure ripples
at one of the windows
into a soundless plume.