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.