Tessa, The Burning The Burning

There is only smoke, you said.
From the burning, I said.
The fire in dampness.
You hiccuped by way of reply.
Dying embers, as she wiped
your sweaty brows. Charred remains.
So this love’s a pantomime.
An empty pagoda. You wanted to sing
the Harlem blues in a poem.
In anonymity, in ghoulish tones–
lover’s soliloquy! O loafing heart which
doesn’t burn, stale as air, blank as lyrics.
Pacifist, it had stared into a pallor.
Not a weakling, no. We watch it leap
above the coals. No more dross–into
silk, and moss. Sunk right there.

Prompt: Still on the subject of love. I confess, this is all part of a gestation for the Fall/Winter 2016/2017 issue. Anyways, this poem is kind of a response to Rumi’s poem, “The Ship Sunk In Love”.

Should Love’s heart rejoice unless I burn?
For my heart is Love’s dwelling.
If You will burn Your house, burn it, Love!
Who will say, ‘It’s not allowed’?
Burn this house thoroughly!
The lover’s house improves with fire.
From now on I will make burning my aim,
From now on I will make burning my aim,
for I am like the candle: burning only makes me brighter.
Abandon sleep tonight; traverse fro one night
the region of the sleepless.
Look upon these lovers who have become distraught
and like moths have died in union with the One Beloved.
Look upon this ship of God’s creatures
and see how it is sunk in Love.

Yea, the heart is where Love dwells. I heart. I love. Who do you heart? What do you heart? Those are important questions that you’ll have to answer in your poem. Answer it slant. To paraphrase Dylan Thomas, you are to move from “an overclothed blindness” to “a naked vision.”


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