burn by Jim Reil

when you made your blood and mucous migration
down the birth canal
you were burning

you were burning
at your mother’s breast
and she was burning
in the hospital bed

you were burning
when you conceived your children
and later they were solar flares
in their cribs

in your winter of failure
divorce despair
you were the type of ice
that burns

you were burning
later on silent meditation retreats
your still mind a cauterizing
white-blue flame

and now this morning
eye-scalding red tulips in your garden
pyre of rust on your shovel’s blade

while your body gnarls and aches
withers and lags
the short wick
of aging sickness death

with every incandescent

— from Juniper Volume 5, Issue 3