Fire Ritual

Anthony Metivier

the way the man dances gives me insomnia 
 on stumps until bloodied 
 then hands 
 callous with blisters bleeding a penitent pus 
he sings the scream of a red engine 
 itís lights and words mirrored 
and the sky boxes 
cotton froths and serpent boils coalesce to perform 
a violent pattern against the dancing grounds 
 blood seeps away 
 draining to places elsewhere 
 murky enclaves, depositories for newsprint 
 and used bandages smeared with bacterium 
the back of the dancer is cleansed 
 his face remains a scythe 
 stripes and cords beneath the skin breathing 
he levitates on his weary hands 
 swaying the trunk 
two channels wrapped in rags torching the rain  

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