the things we burn

you say we are descended
from giants,
but i

am more impressed
by the tenacity
of acorns,

how they worm
their way into the wet
fall ground. inside

their porcupined-cap heads
they are oaks already, & we
mere children

playing in the dirt, watching
sparks curl round the thread-
bare dark. their every breath

threatens to catch the night on fire,
and my eyelashes are singed
with soot-stained doubting.

these are the things we burn;
with smoke in my hair,
will you love me still?


we’re reaving yesterdays like
leaf-fall & peanutshells, piling
them in great heaps to smoke

and shudder; tonight
i listen to the same sad song
you sung me on those days

you sang for no one, and
the creak of the polished floors
under my uneven footsteps

echoes through all the seasons
between that day and this:
fall, winter, spring,

summer, fall
winter, summer, fall, winter…
the sound of broken

promises is similar
to nothing so much as that
of broken glass, & suddenly

is so bitter
as chocolate.

there is all this talk
of elephants.