in the city the sirens wail

everyone responds to a siren's electric call workers public servants a tall smokestack in the sky

squandering firewood hope and coal labor but everything becomes smoke

the cathedral's marble stalactites drip tears and prayers into the sky's chasms

houses workshops streets yards restless and sleepless

working eight hours to keep alive and to zoom off on a motorcycle at dusk with no hat or coat but your girlfriend sitting behind you to steal an hour of love

in your throat cheap scorching wine and kisses have lost their taste

in your fingers crackling newspapers and their pages contain nothing interesting

in your nose the stink of gasoline and the stupid maid has scrubbed all the flowers

in your ears the city's clamor and the streetcars' rumbling intermingled in the distance

a donkey makes a terrible loudspeaker

in your eyes asphalt dust and the countryside is an immense green metropolis

by now our souls are chrome-plated

--Translated by Willard Bohn from Italian Futurist Poetry