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Charred Fingers




Tell me what I may do so you will accept

hot coals of resurrection.

You ask,

What happened to the falcon 

that carried my thoughts in its beak?

I say I will make you a bed of coals,

but first you must help me. 


What is fire, you say. I only know fear.

I know ages ago lightning lived here

And my fear is a cold stone beating back and forth. 

I’m afraid of mirrors. 

I’m afraid when I sleep. I wake 

from nightmares, drenched in sweat, because I dreamt

my blanket was a hand entering me. 

You say,

I am disgusting. No one should love me.


Take these coals and love will unfurl from your feet. 


Understand, holding coals is the pain of a mean fang. 

I’ll decay. 

Memories can sear flesh away,  

They did with my feet

and I no longer leave footprints.


Healing is the pain of a mean fang. 

Decay does not come from coals. 

Fresh skin does.


And somewhere on the beam between life and death

you know fire. 

Something guards you,

the fresh watermelon that should’ve rotted, 

the reappearing keys.

You had a heart like a redwood tree.



I am more animal than woman.


I am like dead skin, useless and clinging to the living. 



No, you will not wither.

You have reappearing feet.

A fire blazes in your mind 

drawing lines in the sky,

And heat rises.


Perhaps. Yes, I see 

the flesh on my palms will peel, new skin will grow in

and with my forked tongue

I’ll lick the eye that never closes.


I can see that, but hot coals slip from my hands to my feet

like leaves fall from the strongest trees.

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