Jin Zhu, Boundary (photograph)


Of the fire and succession,
admit first that combustion
is an act of violence.
Though when we sleep we share
a common border, on our best
days we’re merely liminal.
You stand on the threshold
of me, peering over.
When I die I won’t
take you with me.
Forgive honesty it’s just that
the heart is a crook.  It calls the body
to it, then has it drawn and quartered.
Fire enters the body,
and the fact that it enters
must be learned.  I have a theory
that goes like this: fire is the only
element that matters, as it alone
seeks to increase itself.
Pronounce foxfire and falter. 
Stand close enough to the dying:
from a certain distance we luminesce.
Another theory on fire: through it,
things come into being and pass away.
White roots take hold when the ash settles.


Emily Viggiano Saland