Burning Up the Flame

                    i. Combustion

Our mistral friend, in like a wind
     and out like a breath, this is where
          it ends, how creation fails cold

oblivion, relegating
     to the fringes of existence
          cowards mirrors turn their backs on

his word a sword with no edges
     pleading with people for ages
          to acknowledge their nothingness

on ignition the phlogiston
     was freed from its beast’s metal teeth
          tongue of flame leaping from the page

when days were still warm, courage poured
     out of babes’ mouths before mothers
          could grieve lost innocence, their sins

frivolous, disingenuous
     attritions no one gives a shit
          about, not him, not when it ends

with ashes where once there was fire
     where his breath’s whisper dries passion
          to chilled cinder after burning

up the flame, winter what does in
     the ones we once loved when none did
          since loving becomes oxygen

                    ii. Rusting

for those of us victims led by
     doubt’s indifference when its rift
          bottoms out to become what lifts

from seas of unchanging seasons
     we who need more than any to
          be made to believe we are things

truly invincible, sparks made
     incipient, that wind of his
          what led me on the same twisting

path of rusting distractions that
     led you to me, the impetus
          of pain’s impulse ripping up blank

pages with words, scorched memories
     of a doomed theory lighter
          than air that holds no water, not

here, no comfort to me when you
     come to me torch-lit in a fit
          of foul mood, reeking like him, his

touch smearing us both with rust’s kiss
     normalizing absurdity’s
          trust in defective learning’s last

moment, imperfect and burning
     overthrowing death, absorbing
          life’s timeless art of fire-lighting.