Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Nature of Fire

The Nature of Fire

I never knew it
but all my life
he’d been trying to
reach me without
communicate without
loving me from afar,
through a conduit,
too dazzling,
too frightening
to reveal himself.

That was him
when I was young--
I was delirious,
shaking, sweating,
my body so hot
I thought my image
would be scorched
onto the sheets
just like the
Shroud of Turin.

He sent me
best wishes
for my eighteenth birthday
and we lost everything
in the fire--
just the week before,
I’d thought of putting
all my poems in a
fire-proof box.

One summer,
I was driving
on the freeway
when my fuel line
burst into flames
and my car
exploded at my back
as I ran for help.

The next eclipse,
I decided to go to the
ocean to ask
my mother
for the truth.
She dripped and
rolled and
waved and
silently said,
“Fire is your father.
Go to him.
Give him a hug.
Tell him you love him.”

©JEF 1991

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