I Cannot Make a Torch of Green Branches
Melody S. Gee
I cannot make a torch of green branches.
The living does not burn, even after
cold protests of smoke. Green branches will not
catch like the dead, nor spark.
I cannot make a torch of skin and hair.
Not out of bones.
But burn an animal’s fat and a living blaze
will open the dark. I divide a carcass
for our meal and blade the meat from tall
crevasses of sinew and fat that will melt
to unmake the lamb’s body.
Would I know this texture if I quartered
my body, would I find I am run through
with what’s ready to fire?
Or would I find the child in flesh and ropes,
in sieves and houses and blood?
Will I find her in this light by which
I read, by which I cook?
The lithe fire. The fire for hours.
Fall 2010 Table of Contents