the phoenix


I saw a phoenix crumble to ashes

moments before it was pierced with a spear.

I saw the fire of said phoenix seared

after forty gratuitous lashes.


Lord, you've stored up your wrath and your passion.

Have you equally buried your will to restore?

We've captured the dove and baited the phoenix

building Babel again in an effort to force

more ballads of rising, less stories of ashes.


When doves deserve cages and phoenixes actors,

play-acting a semblance of cheap resurrection,

when doves are in cages and phoenixes screen-plays,

we've weakened the wonder, back-shelved all the tension.


But ballads of rising need stories of ashes.

Doves flying can never be kept in cages.

Perhaps the play-acting was just an attempt

to conjure the thing buried deep below

our skins and our bones, and even our souls:


this whole universe came from ashes.

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