The Day I Woke

my body a burning bush
aflame but not consumed
feet studded with shards

as if standing on holy ground
if holy means on fire, untouchable, not.
I was like one half dead, Miriam,

her skin papering away to ash.
A voice spoke from the wild furnace in my bones
asserted itself in the spaces between,

those hollowed out shapes pockmarking the whole,
hummingbirds, commas, little islands of self
even in a smoldering boat of a body.

When the voice was gone
what was left but to turn aside
to see the red leaves falling

from the maple tree in front of my house.
What was left but to witness
that shivering emptying of limbs,

fall after fall after fall,
leaves pressing their hot faces
against the cool, cool ground.

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