Burning the Leaf

Some idiot
Left a box of matches
On an ovoid charcoal barbeque.
I stole it.

I wandered, flicking them
Crimson and dropping them,
But the color was
Empty in the bodily sun.

Every seven steps there was the plink
Of balsa sticks on sandstone and asphalt
And other kinds of pavement,
And people were watching.

It was a box of matches. A box
That read STRIKE EVERYWHERE.
That was agreeable as I walked.

I didn’t bother to blow out
Each flame
Because I figured
The rush of flight was enough
To end the burn.

One of them, thrown off rightways
Landed and held itself in the
Splitting of a twig—a flowered shrub
No higher than my careful navel.

My waist, which was in denim
And wishing for nudity.

A leaf burned,
The green becoming black.
The leaf curled inward in the end I made
The red lick and the juicy smoke.

– ANNIE WYMAN

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Filed under Poetry, Vol 1 Issue 1

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