My father set up the logs and kindling in the night.
He left us in the day and told me I would be in charge.
I went outside to birth the flame and shadow with my light,
And in that flame, I saw my soul, alive though on the marge.
In the shadow I could see a deep darkness that I knew:
Quiet, lovely and dangerous, I looked on myself in ash.
Sparks skipped and hid within my skin as on the flames I blew,
And as the breath left, I wondered when would be my last.
I tended the fire as though it were a small, still-tripping child.
In the bright of flame and heat of fire, I could see my starving face
Reflecting my own light as the flaming dance ran wild,
And flame, with gloom, searched my soul like spotlights in a darkened place.
I feel ash sweeten my smoking eyes and at last, I know
I am more than flame and darkness; I’m an awakening glow.