And the fire that burns
all uncleanness away
black bones to earth

The same fire
a glow of orange gold
alighting on a head
without ignition
or the eyes' flash
intolerant of touch

It flames
it flickers
seems gone
until a slight breeze
whips the embers
to billow and roar again

The fire denied
the blood is almost frozen
and the skeleton creaks
an antique machine

its purpose unknown


© Michael Smith