The Fist Thief

Whom is the thief of fists? The one who unfolds the hateful hand of a child, happily around some lollipop? Who picks the clenched fingers of some crammed commuter, out from the blackness of a trouser pocket, unfolds them for a mobile phone, where a dependable voice coos of home? Whithers the hands of old men into the dry, cracking branches of tiny dead shrubs?

Would-be boxers type at desks, and fists that would hold women aloft like trophies, or sport them like gloves, gently hold hands in a dull little park. O polite, professional city day - are you the thief of fists? And city, do you return after dark the fleet of stolen fists, dotting them about in the black heart of dreams, like the stars that burn each night, such dependable gifts?

Or perhaps, thief of fists, you are but a borrower: and when the blue above at noon grows dark with planes, when the monuments and parks are heaps of rubble, when dust thrashes like fighting snakes upon the air, the fists you have thieved will return, in vast numbers and free, released from everyday mediocrity, to briefly live and swiftly die - without knowing you, O city, O thief of fists, neither your who nor your why.