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.

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