There is a young woman with a wooden hoop
almost as big as herself – and a small dog
not much bigger than her head – who performs
circus tricks, where Terez Boulevard meets
Andrassy Avenue – named for an Empress
and a Count before old Europe fell apart.
As the three lanes idle at red and the dog
waits on the kerb the girl and the hoop
become an astrolabe, a gyroscope
within the interstices of traffic lights.
When she stills and bows to the varied windscreens
the dog leaps to her shoulder and together –
dancer, dog and hoop – they approach their rewards,
ignoring the anonymous tourists
crossing behind her, as if the corrida
with steel and engines were all. Yesterday,
though a slicing wind from the Danube
kept most windows shut, she gyrated
regardless. Today in snowflakes like
falling stars she spins still.