Dear Incendiary Saint, a house fire
is a hypnotist with beauty to spare.
But having burned once before, this time
I wanted the smoke to stand in for the soul
ascending. Of course, it was always a screen,
an alibi, a full-length feature for our improvised
truths. When the yellow firmen finally
arrived, I watched your pale neck ignite
as they waved to you from inside their movie-
sized coats. You caught the ashes of that life
on your tongue while an ember burned slowly
through the hem of your engine-red nightgown.
In the morning, I confessed to all
the love letters I should have written you:
Cinder, sunburn, surrender.