Peter Sacks


Above the Fire


Above the fire a man floats in a boat.

Above the fire a woman is devoured by a snake,
unseen.

The leaves are yellow alongside & in the wake

the trunks & branches
mirror one another, black, rain-soaked.

And now he's old. He trails a hand until it snares
a leaf--saw-toothed.

Clouds break above the buildings
where there had been none.

The snake is old, its jaw completely
unhinged for the swallowing.

What now?

There was a continent.

Below, the last gods bum along with their last
offerings--

no smoke, no film, no evidence.

The gold-shagged blizzard of the willow

spills again.

Climb down. Prevent.

He leans back & the oar drips like no other memory.

Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003

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