Firebird in Captivity
These works of fire you dangle
above me are losing their ashy feathers.
The crinkling edges bend and wave
in the sighing light.
You shake your head like a towel,
giving me dryness and warmth
as I dance on cushions throughout
our empty rooms.
The table catches quick fire.
I think it’s the first that cradles the heat
as the chairs crackle around,
a gaggle of woodchips flapping away.
You wave your arm like trimmed wings
and feed the flames invisible seeds.
I swing my ax of hair
and laugh as it sizzles like meat.
With a tail whip
the fire created a trench between us
a quickening thread of angry particles.
I bent as the heat brushed
my face with its fins,
and you paced in front of me
as if the air was clawing inside you.
This is bad, I know.
Your ruffled hair,
shadowed by smoke,
is no longer a wonder for me.
I cannot find myself shining
under your cellophane skin.
We have spread apart,
gaunt as fish hooks,
dripping blood from a toothed fight,
eyes like creatures from the deep.
By Valentina Cano