Thomas Locicero

Fire Ghazal


Breath held; had the same been compelled by the fire,

We would not be salvaging after the fire.


A struck match, a lightning bolt, nature itself—

Even mountains are not immune to fire.


Incense leans against the stained-glass windows.

A cathedral choked by smoke and yet no fire.


Floating in a mist while sailing as a mist,

Dawn lobbies the squall for its campaign: fire.


Embers from burnt rope ends scatter like phantoms.

Embers are tears that repent in a fire.


Hunger leaps like a barren suicide

Convinced the corpse-dried landscape was lapped by fire.


Pools of unfit water rot at the gravesite,

A place of ashes for those who spark fire.


The candle winks above the burnt-out wick.

It sticks out its tongue and licks the wax with fire.


The fuming sun inseminates the hillside,

Admonishing it for playing with fire.


Only a fool thinks a scarecrow comes to life

Until it dances and shrinks away from fire.


A wind cleaving to water waves and takes wing

To smite an island dark, its only light fire.


Were it not for the fine words of Service,

I would not have dined before an olive fire.


The unrighteous offer fire christened strange.

The righteous can withstand God’s consuming fire.