Photo by Sarah Lim
Photo by Sarah Lim

By Beth McIlvaine

My radio tells me the legend
of the winter so cold
it froze the flames of burning building,left it a solid flower
blossoming its curved fingers
toward the sky,
paled the reds and yellows
and left it half-whole
all winter.
And I think
this is how it was
after I leftafter that pain that
earthquaked the air
until nothing in me moved.That I am the wood
that slowed in its dyingthat I am
the stunned, breathless fire
that I am
the stern forest
averting its eyes.
That I am the one
stumbling across this still wonder
just as the frost breaks,
time snaps back to its doing,
the sudden shaking of the air
startling me to ashes.

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