The Moon as an Engine of Burning

I don’t want to start with the moon

but it was gloomy outside

and there was a pale quivering light

that reflected from water

and silvered the tips of branches

leaving me little choice

even as I contemplated again

the traumatizing prospect of aging

even as I stood there on the renovated deck

considering whether to walk the avenues

in order to clear my head

or to return to my laptop

with all of the tasks that I was avoiding

and as I continued to kill time

and waste psychic energy

you appeared     backlit in the doorway

and as I watched you

the flames licked up from the bottom

of your dress and burned it away

your arms raising     and fire leaping the gap to me

and I was lost inside moonlight

inside unbreathable heat

I still remember that night after all this time

I still bear the scars

of that unexpected conflagration.

Paul Ilechko is British American poet and occasional songwriter who lives with his partner in Lambertville, NJ. His work has appeared in many journals, including The Night Heron Barks, Tampa Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Sleet Magazine, and The Inflectionist Review. He has also published several chapbooks.