In college, when I would be incredibly stressed and uninspired over a writing assignment, I would sit in the dark of my dorm room and stare at a burning candle. One finals weeks, my friend, who lived only a few feet away across the hall, opened the door (the brightness from the hallway cast a spotlight on me), took it in for a few seconds (“what are you doing…”), and promptly left, the light fading with the door’s slow pneumatic closing.
I lit a small and subtle fire to gaze
at shadows as they caper and conspire.
Soft nights alight in slight riot inspire
the silent soul to say something in praise
to whimsical shifty shapes keeping days’
dreams and dramas on display. To admire
as a moth escapes its cocoon for its pyre,
mistakes the fire for the moon and set ablaze,
it flies to every corner of my room,
a cerise sylph. I simply sit and stare—
spell bound by this candle fire, this lambent bloom.
You catch me lost in this ponderous air,
but before you blow my fancies into fume,
beware. Imagination burns bright there.