I read poems on a bench in unexpected heat,
winter-pale skin growing pink, then red,
like a sunset spreading across me.
Immersed in metaphor, meter, and rhyme,
I lose track of the stones of worry that
weigh me down. By the time, panicked,
I realize they’re gone, hours have passed.
I touch my burned thighs, calves, and neck,
crying out each time, over and over. Tears
drop from my eyes, landing with a sizzle
on my body, but I do not move until, drained
of water, I am but salt carried off by wind.
It is not enough. I need to burn to the ground
again, become a pile of ash pulsing in the urn
you keep in your heart: to die before I die,
then come back to life, one kiss at a time.