What burns will burn, what’s left
is brick and the soot marring the brick—
what’s left is the rebuilding.
Become small as the seed, which waits
without speaking. Settle as the cicada does,
humming faintly in its dark bed of earth.
Count the pearls in the heirloom necklace,
each a grain of sand gilded by decades,
made in the murks under an ocean’s weight.
Practice moving your fingers through the air
so gently, you can hold a feather
without it touching your hand.
Stare at ice so long, it becomes the same
as water. Stare at water so long, it is gone.
Stare at the mark made after.
Parse apart the slung syllables of every book
until your tongue is nimble iron, then
teach your tongue the strength in silence.
Bridle your desire, halter and harness until
it stands at attention, taut as the rope
that leads to the bell that waits to be struck.
When you ring, ring loud, exactly when you need to,
bright note pitched as the phoenix hatches
and you burn and burn and burn and burn.