Wednesday, April 13, 2011

If you want it to burn

Gather the thin, fragile lies, slipping
from her lips, like dry twigs fallen
beneath low-lying branches.

Strike flint against the bone
of your bitterness. Set aflame
the recanted kindling and blow
hot breath across the splintered
wood, seasoned with mistrust.

Stoke it with your anger and watch the fire
burn steadily down to cold and dying embers.

Place the ashes on your head, smear
them across your lips, so you might
remember her kiss.

© Ami Mattison


  1. I'm glad your comp snuck off to Lourdes while you weren't looking, Mattison. Hopefully it didn't pick up any scandalous French ways while it was there. ;-)

  2. Blowing on the ashes, always a cold and thankless task. I like the sparse, packed short lines and the sharp denouement and the image of lies in the first stanza is delicate and well drawn. Nice one, AM.

  3. as the house burns in the background...yeah the blowing on the ashes...doesnt do a damn bit of good if its built on lies...nice write ami

  4. Oh, this is so painful and beautiful. I especially love the 2nd stanza, but it's all stunning.

  5. And the paradox here is that fire is the survival, the gift from Prometheus which saved humankind from destruction. Yet it cannot always kindle, and it always piles in ash. And there are plenty of burnt ruins still in action, still trying to ignite beds with the flintiest of hearts. Icy fire here, like too-distant starlight - Brendan