March 2013

Building Fires

listen to this poem
 
you and I have made faces and hollow men out of the earth;

dragging together the still night air, the clumps of wood,

the ingredients of fire. we have long since given ourselves

over to the shrill pops and the burning of trunks, the shy bite

of smoke in our lungs, the squint of these underlit eyelids;

we have made ourselves part of this blackened soliloquy,

scarecrows balancing scarecrows in the fallen arches of trees.

 

under our rule the branches are spun and snapped, the rough

wood broken—two squat logs make a ready home for tinder

and a quick-flicked match completes it. we dart and giggle,

we guess at destruction: nothing is ceremony where the sparks

fly tall. we enjoy this fire, these haloes. we devour the squeak

and squee of burning leaves. we enjoy the sight

of many-armed martyrs falling.