The Last Fire of Winter
burns in the hearth. The last
strabismic look from the demon's eye
wanders in its heart,
where jumps and lurches my little man of fire;
the blue grey imp that dances
on the crackle of eaten logs.
He was there when I made dinner
making a display of himself, only a devil's hellbrat,
cackling foolishly at the dogwhistle silence of
vegetable agony as I peeled aubergines and salted their flesh.
He doesn't know my unspoken name or all the secrets
buried beside my bones, my graveyard face,
beneath the coffin boards of my floor.
Still, he smiles that same
laudenum smile as his comely master,
happy to be the go-between
who brings the goatskin missal
where my incubus writes me
all the brimstone news from hell.
But he’s not the one who can read the answer
I throw on the flames that hold back morning,
where the last fire of winter
burns in my heart.
Image: Fire, by smenzel on flick'r
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