Simon French

 

 

 
Fire

You brought us unimagined warmth, roasted our arrow kill into
the earliest carvery. The cave as ideal home.

Trapped you behind glass, hoisted high on coasts & estuaries,
let you jitterbug for boats to pinpoint anchorage.

In your debt for turning the heat up under cedar,
sandalwood, myrrh, evicting them from the hang & swing

of iron burner, to create perfume
from holy elsewheres we can barely conceive.

You perk things up in the seductor’s bedroom.
Place you on candles in a chorus line of light,

you offer ignition for the post-coital spliff, the passing
of the Olympic flame. The basking.

Happy to do the dirty stuff. You hunger for sticky swabs,
excavated tumour, dispatched

in the terrible smoke. Are always patient
as we wring out goodbyes before you launch our dead

into a stained-glass sky.
We are the perfect partnership. Can have fun with you.

Juggle you. Jump through hoops of you but most of all we ask
you turn your back on arsonists, anarchists, the torturers

who’d cage a man wet with petrol.
Let their caves be damp, bones brimming with frost.

Sit them around our spent campfires. Have them warm their hands
over ash.

 

 

Simon French lives in Derby. He has had poems published in magazines including The Rialto, Stand, Ambit, The London Magazine and Ink Sweat & Tears. He runs a poetry workshop and is currently working toward publishing his first collection.

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