Torching the Psalms

Seventy-two tapers wasted
     hastily down, naked, waiting
     derelict to swallow lightning,
     desecrate flame just to taste it.

Haven’t they found any better
     procedure than burning themselves
     entirely to gather knowledge,
     so openly wasteful of her?

One candle thrown into shadow
     disavows all prowess until
     all shadows lift themselves, fulfill
     prophecies, and kill them somehow.

Heavenly names, vowels missing,
     equations some maintain contain
     secrecy none but men learnèd
     in languages and chess can read,

Even we who cannot speak can
     see into the darkness and press
     onto each candle, melt a brand,
     and break open letters addressed

By wayward angels to playful
     grandmasters too withdrawn to pawn
     off all their dangerous tables,
     and take up torching the lost psalms.

Holiest practice makes it clear
     mere existence is just a game;
     magic gives to us the power
     to rely on our Selves, our names

Truly blessed as his, made of more
     permanent clay than monuments
     laid happenstance at heaven’s door,
     since we still exist even if

We ignore its superstition
     and persist in listening to
     secrets leaked like honey within
     us, intuition trusting no

Other world but our own to know
     and to throw onto this dim stage
     shapes more immortal which somehow
     outperform and disprove that sage.