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Immolation: The Worth of Living

by Richard Paez

Immolation: The Worth of Living

“Feed me and I live, give me drink and I die.”

I awoke from desert-dreams to find
the sun carved on her belly –
radiant (I bend and twist to feel her)
aurora (I strain to reach,
caress her liquid-burning skin,

that lightning-haloed blaze,
those horns and licking flames)
.

          There's a devil in me:
          he's been cold for far too long and I,
          I burn – I live and die – blown away
          by the little tastes she gives me.


I want to swallow, be swallowed
in her immolating gaze,
and were she to come down,
conflagrate my world entire,
reduce me to cinders and obsidian

in those searing seconds
I would learn the worth of living.

          (I knew her before
          when she was just a candle-lit sliver
          crushed between dead skies
          and unyielding horizons.)

          (I slept on stones, huddling for heat,
          howling with the other wolves,
          keeping company with smoke:
          all shadow plays and kindling.)


          And now: She rises.
          She walks through storms.
          She shines, pouring liquid fire
          here at the edge of the world and I,

          I burn, burn, burn
          tempered and purified
          by the sight of her
          and seeing for the first time:

My fingertips,
my tongue and eyes,
with but a glance and a gesture
she burns them all away:


I awake from desert-dreams to find
the sun carved upon her belly,
radiant, and for the first time
see what it means to see:

          By the little tastes she gives me
          I learn the worth of living.

05/16/2010

Posted on 05/17/2010
Copyright © 2019 Richard Paez

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 05/17/10 at 03:41 PM

I never get tired of this kind of thing. Enormously inventive, clever and quite brilliant in its attention to form.

Posted by George Hoerner on 05/17/10 at 09:29 PM

Does she not always feed the mind? A very strong write with greast images as always.

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