Where All Flames Meet

               Where all flames meet sparks cast their heat
seeking to fill parts of the great machine
none yet knowing how their hot tears curdle
               the cream-whites of eyes, sliding down
crescent moons of cheeks into tea, their dreams
vanishing with steam that remains only
               to rise, everyone the same
character in the same play, denying
direction to attempt at lines no one
               buys, offering up on daylight’s
altars what scorching melodies of fires
illumine the hours, nodding at them as
               they pass them by, asking sibyls
rippling thin veils of smoke, ‘What if this is
the best version of me? What if there is
               no better person I can be?’
and so, underwhelming immolations
of their endings’ own creations they stoke
               feeding ashes with passionate
frenzy, they evoke heroes who before
them found out too much and had rather burned
               out than gone on knowing what no
oracle will pronounce for them now, words
somehow not subtle enough to eclipse
               meaning as mystics once did, things
no one wants said, truth that scalds hearts until
they split, that kind of shit, more tears over
               answered prayers than unanswered ones
someone should have told these kids before they
went on and lit votive candles in so
               ominous a temple as love’s.