[We lived so long in the fire]

Leslie Harrison

& we lived so long in the fire we got used to the fire

& golden light acetylene blue at the edges

& the withering heat

& we loved the word annealed

& licked and blistered

& all our legends featured snow

& all our dreams were of water

& all our houses were temporary

& all the fish became dragons

& learned to swallow fire

& sheet lightning baked the vacant stars

& every bird a phoenix

& every child a cinder

& every illness a fever

& every lover a river

& all the rivers dried

& the stones filled the beds

& all the questions became matches

& answers lanterns

& all the apertures oncoming trains

& icebergs were the dream of teeth

& the dream was a balm

& every lighthouse a finger

& pointing at the burning moon

& every shore a window onto ruin

& we peeled each other’s blackened skin

& put it in our burning mouths

& called it sacrament


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