Where There’s Smoke

The burning man, from the Burning Man Festival © Aaron Logan

It’s funny, but not in the laughing way
of funny, the differences in their fires
they once huddled so closely to.
Hers was usually touched off in the tinder
of passion, a desperate fervor to burst into flames
that would burn down all her past mistakes
and blaze a bright light across her nights
of discontent.

His would smolder in the fluff of belonging,
a dust of me-and-you, he-and-she,
discarded by others,
that would smolder and flicker a flame
he’d never feel, even in the palm of his hand.
Both of them burned a green kindling of need,
always sparked by some dreamy hope,
any hope.

The fires, though always warm, inviting,
blinded them with smoke, choking out
the maybe and might have, turning them
from one another. Maybe that’s
the funny part. How the fires made their eyes
glisten and shine with a reflection
of themselves, who they really were trying
to love in the first place.

Crazy free write that I thought I saw in the smoke of my dampened creative fire.

3 thoughts on “Where There’s Smoke

  1. Green wood always smokes a lot. This is a finely drawn metaphor, Joe. And your final lines really are get to the heart of it all. How can we ever hope to love anyone else when we can’t even love ourselves? Wel done, you.

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