Bearing Fire

We get up to rain and fog; or rather,
smoke— the swamp still burning

in the month-long aftermath of
lightning strike. Not even a hurricane

could put it out. Whatever else one
might say, it is a form of dedication.

Name your materials, then: peat and fossils;
ethyl alcohol, grains soaked and swirled

in a silo of glass. Little clutch of wood
shavings; cone of paper, puff of breath.

Coals in a tempered dish. Some light
to take you past the midnight hour.

At a conference many years ago,
a Persian poet I didn’t even know

looked at me and said, Your stomach
is tight; don’t try too hard

And it’s true. Don’t we want,
so many times every day, to unclench?

The world looms close. Only look up
at the brilliant fall sky

and the silver gleam of a plane
glancing off the buildings.

Somewhere in the woods, a bright
clearing where a tree came down.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← GleaningThe Summer of the Angel of Death →

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