Lighting The Interiors
by Barry Ballard

I suppose there are composed rituals
of separation, the sporadic parsings
of the past tense. We watched the fire furl
up all our remembering last night, charring
what was once pure and beautiful, trying
to ignore the compacting of its prism
of light into flickering ash. We sat inside
the glowing interior of what we imagined

our cave walls, the gray slate of our hearts painted
in vegetable dye of our first trial night
together, brushstroke after brushstroke
of our heaving wet bodies stilled like art
over the fossilized stone, a bleeding deep red
over our question of - why this has to end.

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