Like A Mad-Happy Fool

Give me a gas streetlamp 
in the ancient quarter
where the midnight fog 
is yellow and thick
like a biblical pestilence 
or death in a soldier’s lungs.

Give me the heart of an acrobat
and a long black overcoat
to drape over my bones
so I can leap to the top
of that wrought-iron perch
and hang there, upside down,

watching the passerby
with larcenous 
glee.