The Burning Tree

Last time I had stamina and calluses and a bag of chalk.
It hung from my lumbar like a bunny tail.
Last time I was lighter and the ether better-emptied.
Now blood is so close to my surface I slip off the walls.

Tonight is the night of a massacre I do not look at.
Although I have been to that city of bricks and black blooms.
Therein I kissed a grave a million others kissed.
A woman with a cigarette asked me for fire there and I provided it.
I had been asked for light before but never fire.

Tonight I climb three hundred stairs toward the light of my device.
Maybe we’ll be wartime people leading wartime lives.
Skirmishes have sprung from the heads of lesser gods.

This is the light no one reads by we just stare into it.
We wait for the glyphs that mean it is safe.

More Poems by Ben Ladouceur