spiritual language poetry & writings

conflagration

 

 

The father and son are negotiating–
who shines brightest in the heavens?
After a trip out shopping you come home,
spirits high, carrying your load proudly,
you look across the room at your son
burying his head in a game and you say
it’s time,–but it could be anything,
music lessons, homework, cleaning
his room–so now, after his first day
in junior high, and his friends already
left for home, he’s gone quietly inside the game
he’s playing, body and spirit…
it’s time, you say again, and the words,
this time, like a gun, triggers a wave
of fire that starts engulfing you both,
a fever-spreading fire, its heat
rising, source of the fire undeniable
yet unseen in the corners of your
mind, in the corners of your house,
and suddenly you see an entire wall coming down,
as if a car having lost control crashed
through, and in the tangle of wreckage
and the dust of aftermath the flames draw
higher–to where now your mother, lost
years back, and your sisters, O beloved
sisters, and an older cousin, strong & upright,
are all standing there beside you as surprised as you are
standing in the midst of the flames, but they don’t
panic, they face the inferno that’s raging
inside you, they help the firemen who
have pulled up outside the house to
try to douse the flames with their long
hoses spraying at the bright blaze,
the bright, bright energy of its
destruction beyond words as your son
begins weeping, the heat of his pain
on his face, twisting it, wet with his tears,
and you stop… and you begin to listen.
you’re listening trying to feel what it’s like
being him, all ablaze, in the mounting of
the licking, leaping flames that have spread
inside you both, as his body shakes loose its tears
and your breathing and his breathing begin,
ever so slowly, ever so gently, to merge,
while the others, far away in a distant time,
are doing their part to save the house from
being lost entirely, as the firemen rush in
with streaming water and then out comes,
hissing, volcano-like, the smoke as if in reply
from the broken bits of debris lying
about, while his body, shaking with sobs,
keeps trembling, and I strain to hear what he’s saying,
to listen to the hurt my word has put a match to,
the hurts at the 12-year-old heart of his childhood, his
daily torments, the power of injustice he encounters,
and as I listen I know I hear the flames licking
at the corners and around us at our feet,
and I realize that he and I, the two of us,
we are dancing in the flames, wildly stomping in
the unforeseeable fires of our manly love,
the fires of our timeless, whole love,
which we are now, just now, beginning to feel.

 

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