National Poetry Month: “Fire”

The Normandie was burning in New York harbor.

It was a nebulous sensation

the question of fire and the man

who watched the cork life vests bloom

how fascinating, how pure

to see the ignition of plasma

and watch its growth from birth

to groaning metal collapse

into the harbor, the water sprays

now floes of ice

like a knife at the throat

but isn’t that what love is?

A tough tug on the blade

that sharp edge sinking in, cold

despite the hothead willing it’s disaster?

Crippled in the moorings

capsized in the dew

flames that once burst, turned to wrinkles in the sheets

compassion, compulsion

the indiscriminate apologies for waking up the ocean

for shaking the anchor’s chains

dumping out the bilge water for the hope that remains

to welcome the terrestrial spirit in the realm of the forgiven

to hold the bellows tight, when in whispers

she asks that you pump as hard as you can

to reignite the charcoal in the dark.

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