Feeding the Fire
Edison Jennings

Down the chute the coal chunks come, black and brittle
from time’s press, packed with essence of dim forests, 
funk of flora, fungiforms, relics of the Paleozoic
destined for my furnace, fire-bellied Baal that warms
the innards of this house.
                                                   I toss the flame a shovel-load
and feel the blaze of opaque past transfigured into infrared,
then kick shut the furnace door and wipe the smudge
of pitch-black dust that seams the lifeline of my palm. 

Previously published in The Kenyon Review, 2005


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