is about the stars, how they fail in the early morning 
over small buildings. Today is about rising for work, 
traffic lights clicking up and down Steinway Street, 
the fog lifting from the East River where ships at Randall’s 
Island unload supplies for the asylum. Today is about 
the interest accrued on a loan for a car five years old 
that will outlive style and boredom. Today is for the run-
away bus heading beneath the Queensborough Bridge,  
the dog shit in gutters, the page from The Daily News  
blown into a tree where events tear and hang. Today is 
for the faces of children running to school, their moist 
brows, their older siblings dawdling behind. Today is
for the grocer who writes what is owed in his little book
that disappears. Today is for the smell of diesel fuel on a 
father’s dungarees, how it clings to laundry and his wife’s  
hands. Today is for the old Christmas trees dragged to a lot 
and set on fire. The conflagration that still warms the face.
John Allman | Mudlark No. 37
Contents | First Job 1928