Burning
“...I don’t want to be burned.” —Louise Glück, “Averno”
Ah, but, I want to burn, the way the field, the strong field,
the known field is burned in fall and spring in anticipation,
oh, much quicker than the slow clearing of flesh from bone.
Burned, loose from its scaffolding, flesh is a change into light,
into motes, scattering, over field, dust, catching in air, once
every winter I see this play as snow descends on a field
and its field tree, gloriosa et immaculata, and the joy
watching that change, I stand in the field by myself. At home.
You had children, I had none, I have no one to show the field,
or tell I’m sorry, or call and ask if they are lonely,
I have something to give nothing; call me a show-off, call me
willing to cut off my nose...when it comes, I’m ready to burn,
free of all boxing or packaging, it won’t last long, that heat, that
singing intensity on the flesh and then, the vibrant exit into wind.
Sharon Chmielarz
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