Saturday, February 9, 2013

Strike of the match

Ash-gray February
Dozes and dreams
Clouds miles deep
Colors fast asleep—
But for this small flame,
A brief sun burning on winter’s edge.

First came sharp strike of the match-flame,
then a quick bloom of light—
Wisp of ivy smoke spirals to a ceiling 
stuck fast with glow-in-the-dark stars, 
for times like these. 

Now the candle shimmers from mirror-washed glass,
Golding my eye,
Holding my thought,
Feeding my cloud-swathed hunger
with a clear mango light. 

So why circle my thumb over each palm in turn 
as I listen to my heart’s throb,
and why this silent sway of my body?
Like an incantation
Like a song I can’t hear but dance to anyway
Like a cat kneads its bed before settling to sleep?
Am I reading the declinations? 
Measuring the mounts, muscles, valleys, bones, the lunarity of skin,
the scars, if I had any?

The Russian nesting doll of February 
Finds us edging toward a sun we may not see
Music we may not hear
Feeling our way by the light of the cat-napping stars
Guided by verities like hearts beating and candles flaming.

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