Trees turned into sparklers into torches
into hot air balloons tethered to the ground,
dollops of candy fingered into the sky, windows
of stained glass that break apart like startled birds.
This world is a fire eater a gymnast a worker
of miracles taken for granted like grandmothers
who never run out of chewing gum. It throws itself
on the grenades, sprays us with guts made of flowers
and red clay, while we wear our masks and dig our graves.
The scents grow colder, cleaner. The wind chimes
feel more distant: our bronzed, hollowed bones.
Bourbon keeps us warm, loosens our tongues
for the poems of twig laurel and haunted scarecrow,
the sounds of low creek water rippling over stones,
a rifle blast echoing over hills while the coyote calls.
The trees’ flames are smothered into limbs of smoke
while we write love letters to the sun,
rubbing our hands together like sticks,
praying to gods of pumpkin spice and pine,
that our flesh may know that liquid light again.
Jay Sizemore writes poetry and short fiction that offends his family. He is way behind on reading the classics. His work has appeared in places like Ayris, Red River Review, DASH, and Spry. His poem “My Despair Trivialized” was nominated for Best of the Net, 2013 by Cease, Cows. He currently lives in Nashville, Tenn., home of the death of modern music.