Flames never fail to entrance me
erratic unpredictable dangerous
I find my head lilting and swerving
in a hypnotic dance with an elemental form,
it beckons you and me:
I dare you to touch it.
I can hold my hand over the lighter longer.
A whispering chilly breath
pulls swiftly through my teeth
cooling the heat in my throat
as my jaw tightens in ecstatic pain.
But we shouldn't.
And so we hover as close as our flesh will allow
sad hidden repressed longing
in a beautiful neglected emerging frame.
I wipe my hands along my hips to dry them again.
We offer reassurances:
I won't let you hurt yourself
well, nothing permanent anyway.
We all have our burns,
the minor ones never scar
and though the major ones do
they come with magnificent stories,
stories around the fire
epic tellings of those who choose to prove life
by risking its very soul
to feel alive amidst all this death.
To say: you cannot yet burn me
in your two dollar coffin until only mingled ashes remain
and bone remnants yet to be pulverized.
You do not ask me if I carry batteries
heart monitors beneath my sunken flesh for fear
that the grey waste will not return to the surviving
inside its plastic bag with a twist tie
inside its minimal black plastic box
inside the allotted five to ten business days.
Death is not like it is in the movies, they say.
That doesn't keep us from craving a ritual:
a physical representation of what the fuck we're supposed to do
when we lose what we love
and can't taste what we crave.
Where is my resurrection?
Fill my well with living water
for I have dug and dug deep,
let me feel that cool sweet wine
flowing down, down in through the aqueducts of my imagining.
I want to burn and be quenched.