Over dinner, I told how we lit the lampless night.

With butane from a yellow can, we drew pentagrams

and forbidden words on the asphalt.


When the hilltop went orange with headlights,

we dropped a match and hid

to watch the cars swerve or brake,

speed up and speed away —


but for that poem, a sacrifice is necessary

greater than I can make. I can’t imagine

the years to do it. What god of the field

would loan its tongue? 


You’d think it a crime to write of god.

The audience shatters at the word,

splinters into endless definitions.


For now, I am in the green darkness

trying to laugh at the fear I’ve unleashed,

trying to remember a time before fire.

A poet and musician, Mark D. Dunn lives in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, teaches at Sault College, and walks as often and as far as he can. His poems have won the Ted Plantos Memorial Award. Ghost Music, his first collection, was longlisted for the ReLit Award. He has released three CDs of music and performs frequently — although not as frequently as in times past.