On the Island of the Fire Eaters

Dina Hardy

                    we burn books and eat the embers.

          Our island’s defined by darkness—what we can’t see isn’t ours.

          We believed once the world was quantitative
drew charts of seven circles—
You Are Here—the X of subject.

          Of the elements, water is the most receptive,
but the memory in fire is strong
when it comes to crimes against Artemis.

          We are appetite—we beg for food, for the word.

          Is smoke in the hand worth a burning bush?

          Leaves curl into flowers of ash—soy ink blazes purple
plastic dust jackets charbroil.

          Our faces flash red from the heat of prose:

                    The screen door next to Charlie slams. He leans forward.
                    Blow my tears, he says.
                    Lacking a hat, Daisy May perishes in the desert.

                    We roast marshmallows over these published corpses—toxic.

                    We glow from this fodder, this fuel, we feed ourselves
with history, with geometry. We write our names above the flames
with sticks lit from borrowed light.