Fire Dance

A solitary leaf dangles from the barren tree

Once so vibrant and luscious

Now I look away.

The grey skies are foreboding

Filled with stark reminders that beauty is illusory

And happiness is as fragile as a puff of wind

And love rests on the whims of a gossamer dragonfly wing

As inky clouds skim past the moon and stars

And in the beat of a heart, everything changes.

Memories weave through the bare branches like stinging nettles

And there is no peace to be had.

 

As I walk through the dense shadows

Acrid smoke fills the air

And I’m drawn to the soaring flames.

I know them and they leap up to greet me

Inviting me to join their dance.

The breeze is a flute playing a melancholy tune

But the dancers continue on, beckoning me into their orbit.

And I know I might be burned

But I haven’t the power to resist the pull of their spirits

Which I’ve missed for an eternity

And I’m drawn further in as they encircle me.

I am seduced by the promise of reunion

And the hypnotic rhythm of the flames

And the wildness of the howling darkness.

 

I realize the song has changed

And the blaze now sings a question

Asking me why my heart has closed

And surrendered to the nothingness.

 

I want to break the circuit and run.

But I suddenly lose my footing

And collapse onto the bone-rattling ground.

My head spins but my body is still

Except for my eyes searching the waning blaze

For the dancers who have now retreated into the darkness,

So impenetrable that even the thumbnail moon is unsuccessful

In breaking through the jet-black sky as it all fades to nothing.

 

I crawl to the embers to search for a message

But all that remains are ashes.

There is no trace of the wildness of the night

And the music has vanished just like the love

That had once been there

And all that’s left is soul-shattering silence.

Written by

Nancy Machlis Rechtman has had poetry and short stories published in Paper Dragon, Page & Spine, The Thieving Magpie, Quail Bell, Anti-Heroin Chic, Blue Lake Review, Goat’s Milk, and more. She wrote freelance Lifestyle stories for a local newspaper, and she was the copy editor for another local paper She currently writes a blog called Inanities at https://nancywriteon.wordpress.com.
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