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Posts Tagged ‘fire’

Ode to the Bic Lighter


 
 
My first lighter I found in a parking lot—
a smooth red plastic tube that fit
in my pocket. I knew playing with fire
was dangerous. I knew I wanted
to learn how. I remember trying again
and again to get the right purchase
with my thumb on the serrated sparkwheel.
I rolled and rolled until my skin was raw,
until at last the brief flame sputtered then died.
It wasn’t long before it came second nature—
the smooth flick needed to produce a spark,
the slight pressure on the red tongue
to maintain steady flame.
I learned how it burns
to be lit up too long,
but once you know how to make light,
how easy it is to bring it with you
everywhere you go.

This poem is published in the wonderful ONE ART Poetry Journal

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I throw in any tallies
I’ve been keeping,
the ones that record
who did what and when.
I throw in all the letters
I wrote in my head but didn’t send.
I throw in tickets I didn’t buy
to places I didn’t visit.
I throw in all those expectations
I had for myself and the world last year
and countless lists of things I thought I should do.
I love watching them ignite,
turn into embers, to ash.
I love the space they leave behind
where anything can happen.

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Beyond Touch

And if a cheek should find a chest,

and if a tongue should graze a lip,

and if a hand should meet a curve,

and if a hip should stir a hip,

then we might know the flesh as kindling,

know the skin as eager spark,

know the lover as the flame

that helps unthaw the frozen dark.

But if a heart should stoke a heart,

and if a soul should fuel a soul,

then we might know the self as unself—

ravaged, ardent, blazing, whole.

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But No Hiding

It is the job

of the wildfire

to crave ignition,

to seek more fuel,

to turn at the whim

of the wind.

The wildfire’s job

is to burn

whatever it meets,

to incite it to flame,

to not care what it chars

how it ashes.

I want to not see it

as it leaps and claims,

want to not smell it

as it fills my lungs,

becomes me,

want to not notice

the part of me

ready to burn.

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Too Close to the Light

 

 

Just for a moment

my hair was on fire

and just for a moment

orange flames

rose from me

and just for a moment

I knew what it was

to be candle—

even now I can see it

beside my face,

how before I was afraid

I thought, how beautiful.

 

 

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on the wall of flame

after all these years

still trying to hang a portrait

 

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One Combustible

 

 

wearing my best

white paper gloves

to play with fire

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One Brevity

 

 

 

all its life

it never knew

it could be so bright—

this log just before

it’s ash

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A Passing Truce

 

 

 

Beside the fire, inside

the dark, and lost amidst

the tide of thoughts,

there is a momentary warmth

that steeps into our every inch

and make us doubt

that we could ever feel

sharp cold again—

the mind, thus warmed,

forgets to quarrel and simply

nestles closer—and the dark itself

comes nearer by and we

lean in together.

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Black Out

 

 

A blazing fire makes flame and brightness out of everything that is thrown into it.

            —Marcus Aurelius

 

 

Let me be fire.

Let everything

ignite me.

Let the whole world

be kindling.

I’ll take all fuel.

Let me flash.

Let me flare.

Let me make brightness.

Give me the dark.

Let me blaze there.

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