Beside the copper bell and hammer,
a tea-brown gas mask stares out, left eye
cracked. A tangle of rope, blackened
and frayed, lies pressed under glass
like a lock of hair. What doesn't burn
becomes relic, talisman against.
On a scroll, huge petals of fire curl
from a wooden house. Firemen run
bare-legged toward it, tattooed
with the motifs of invulnerability:
twisting carp, samurai, a red octopus
winding around the back and arms.
Their bodies glow on the paper
like the painted lanterns they carry
running, themselves lit.