A match next to a yellow matchbox with red striking paper on a red and white checkered table.

one afternoon, the glass globe within me
rolled down the stubborn beyond of my body
and got lost.

inside said globe there is an afterthought
of snow, but not enough to settle,
the flakes too demure to make a difference.

mostly, there is a small church
at the end of a chipped road
with whitewood walls and a gabled roof,

and two men in dark plum pajamas
stuck in mid-flight down its steps,
for the church is on fire.

amidst all this, what moves? only the flames,
a second of their dull red desolation
smeared across timber forever.

the men’s mouths lock in hollow screams,
a soundless wave of pathos
ringing from their teeth.

inside me, some lust foams over
for want of this scene and plunges deep to snatch it,
craving not nostalgia but clarification:

you see, i cannot for the life of me remember
if, in the lonely pandemonium of it all, one of the men
is brandishing a box of matches.


Photo by Mate Menyhart, used and adapted under CC.