Luminary

by Jay Carson

Just in case you think
I got screwed up only recently,
let me tell you about the fire:

My wife in those days was a candle maker
as well as a crazy maker, like many artists,
just good enough to be impossible.

We were having a big drinks party
to celebrate Christ’s birth
although he wouldn’t be coming or mentioned.

But the wine much advertised
in his bio would be plentiful.
And candles.

Lots of candles to celebrate
my wife’s talent and for atmosphere.
We lit the hell out of the place. And then ourselves.

Drink up was the last thing I heard.
But I woke up in time
to douse out the growing flames

and to sleep in throat-coating carbon
back-to-back in bed, silently
blaming the negligent one.

Did I tell you we had a four-year-old,
a boy so tender he unexpectedly kissed
my hand in the park one day?

 

Jay Carson taught creative writing, literature, and rhetoric at Robert Morris University, where he was a faculty advisor to the literary magazine, Rune. Retired, he is now a full-time writer. He has published more than 100 poems in local and national journals, magazines, and anthologies, as well astwo books: a chapbook, Irish Coffee (Coal Hill) and a full length book of poems, The Cinnamon of Desire (Main Street Rag).

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