Flameless Burn

Smoke. Fire. Memory.

Tracy K. Smith
The Body's Question

I crumple paper to encourage the flame,
And for a brief moment everything is lit.

But the logs haven't caught,
Just seem to smolder and shrink
As the heat works its way to their center.

Getting to what I want
Will be slow going and mostly smoke.


Years ago during a storm [….]
While you added kindling to the fire […]
We sat in that room until the wood was spent.

We never left the room.
The wood was never spent.

The two temporal modes, a present failing to ignite and a past of toasty warmness, resolve themselves into a perpetual potential.

And so for day 1592