Fall 2005 • Vol. XXVII No. 4 Poetry |

Feeding the Fire

Down the chute the coal chunks come, black and brittle from time's press, packed with essence of dim forests, funk of flora, fungiforms, relics of the Paleozoic destined for my furnace, fire-bellied Baal that warms the innards of this house. I toss the flame a shovel load and feel the blaze of opaque past transfigured into infrared, then kick shut the furnace door and wipe the smudge of pitch-black dust that seams the lifeline of my palm.

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