John C. Mannone

Crumbled paper
Brown leaf fragments
Twigs thick as straw
Brittle stems, spindle pine
Crisscross branch-beams
Pin oak, hickory, sugar maple
Wood monument
Standing quiet

Silence broken
Phosphor striking, pungent
Orange flame leaps
Paper devoured
Like acid spreading on onion skin
Wood: submissive, crackling

Smoke whistles above white noise
Plumes twist, split, spread
Between scorched rafters
When fire’s light shines below

Ashen branches collapse
Under pull of lashing flame
Hollow sounding cinders
Chime as lumbered pieces fall

Glow red with streaks of dark
Transform to hot-star white
As wind blows through

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