Posts Tagged ‘flame’

“As it has been said: 

Love and a cough

cannot be concealed.

Even a small cough.

Even a small love.” ~ Anne Sexton, Small Wire

                                *

Winter is the time I fashion clothes out of fire-

snow bites my cheeks so, and I feel

unloved. 

When desire comes about

I grab onto it, and hook it into my chest,

and knit warm and heavy shirts out of its thread,

and I burn red.

In Winter I am this

vulnerable beacon of burning love.

I am exposed to the elements.

The flames are in danger of going out,

I will be left naked in the cold.

But if I clutch the threads to my heart,

and if I invoke the name of my desired one,

my heart burns, and the fires roar;

though winds rage

I am protected by these flames.

A song of penance I sing–

mercy, pity, before flames radiant glow,

prostrating instead of genuflecting–

pleading for a future I do not know.

 

Something in the small fire

relieves my apprehension.

Swaying like an eye-twinkle,

no sputter, no tension.

My golden house is adorned with flames,

it licks itself with them, wistfully cleaning

blemishes which are not there.

Fires rise and crackle.

The whole cacophony, the whole sound

of these flames could timid a lion.

Even though I among these precious metals-

orange brighter than any morning,

red deeper and more passionate than a heartbeat

or a kiss, I find myself

looking out at the worlds between the flames.

How minuscule they are-

a yellow thumb, a dark brown eye,

a fleck of glowing white,

pinpricks…

I’m afraid I know nothing else

than shades of fire

and my own face.

Indeed, there are others glowing,

held in comfort of white embers

and enthused by the ceaseless dancing of flames,

but I find myself not with vigor of flame,

but with emptiness, that same emptiness

as the black reaching

between those worlds and specks of light, unifying us,

and separating us

all the same.

Why am I so willing to pass my heart around

on a platter like hors d’oeuvres?

Falling in love is not

something that simply happens;

there is always admiration before desire,

smoke before flame.

Perhaps it is not that I’m willing,

but rather, that I don’t know,

for I would rather live in this haze

for fear of being burned.