An Arsonist’s Remorse

I know what breaks a Greek plate
And the intent of a ceramic artist
The uncertainty of a kiln
And variables of responsibility
Within accidents going places
To happen and the ones we preserve
In jars for an occasion to spill
And break and slip like the coaxing sparkle
Of a drying marble floor

Masters of Circumstance never test fire
Clip yellow-leafed plants cradled legs in hands
Examining dead the skin mix with sand.

The intellect grows a peach a bit
Brain and dripping sweet a chin mimicking
The edge of what a human can face
A volcano inverted as ash
Before lava or blood before basalt

We suspend our bodies in burlap decisions
And dangle ripe in the trees burning
To bust open our guts to become spectral
Activity and savorily spent

I could have left a couple chipped
Dishes or a few finger dents
In the frosting or one yellowing plant
But at the pavers’ discretion
Without the courtesy of cones
We let the jackhammers fraction
Our tameless terrain

I know the remorse of an arsonist
And the quiet after the crackle
The twisted fate of a toaster taken up in steely flames
I know the accident of throwing inextinguishable matches
Of lovers and time and accidents
Like tricky birthday candles jinxing a wish.

Published by Lia Yaranon Hall

My name is Lalla. I was a 14th century poet in Kashmir and worshipped Lord Siva. I died and fell from an evergreen tree in the Pacific Northwest (47° 36? 36? N, 122° 19? 48? W). My Lolo found me in an ivy patch. I spent most of my formative years on the coast of the South China Sea spearing fish until I became a "vegetarian" (but we didn't call ourselves that in those days). Shortly after vowing ahimsa, I moved to New York, unironically, under the guise of "poet" so that I could perform aerial stunts and acrobatics for an underground circus called the.

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