Meditation on a Trash Fire in My Backyard.
There was a type of black there that invited
roughing. The fire was the first element,
a type of mist coming out of baked
earth. There, I could tear off my shoes, leap
at once to the center of coral-white coals.
Of pyre-building and self-immolation, nothing's
obvious; they are fashionable graces.
Which I did over and over one winter
there at Chincoteague Island. I leased an antique
cabin--clapboard, no insulation--
an old Vogelzang stove for cooking, heat.
Occasionally I left the grated door ajar
to illuminate any sudden, basal nature of flame.
Ponies, conditioned for ages, sense heat and smoke.
They push their dark, curvaceous noses up against
a leeward thin-glass window; tip over a
tenant's sympathy, get an apple, a scrap, a mango.
Would you have taken my hand in yours, joined me on that
pyre, suffered unctuous pains, helped us across
the gulf into a pureland? At that penultimate
second, I would do it for you dear--I would
always turn back to look for you, sweet.
Left-over that late evening: your ring, my ring--
gems upon a burned earth--then, a month or two,
a pink ctystal tree germinates, fullgrown.
That art--to reach there, pick off a sliver
of glass, take it home, worship it.