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Burnt Offering


I thought her room was always dark,

set at the center of the house,

with only one small window

opening into an air shaft.


But after everyone left,

her curtains began to burn, glow

with orange light, slow spark

of morning sun, that now, let loose,


set fire to all her room: the walls,

the bed, the dresser, every crack

deepening in a rift

between some midnight wish and shadow.


I watched it blaze, then fade, then flow

and the whole room founder and drift

back to its daily darkness,

ash of a brilliance now so black


no one could tell it from the dark,

not even she who slept in silence,

her body working the bellows,

her dreams crackling in its draft.


Michael T. Young



From Transcriptions of Daylight, Rattapallax Press,
2000.  Reprinted by permission of the author.

Outer table background by Cabin Creek Graphics
Page background by Springo Graphics

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