The challenge is not to blow out the fire. The fire should only shiver, shiver as if in need of the flames of another fire. And the candles should never weep. They should have wounds but never scars. And before you gather your storm, words must wake, happiness must season voices, a group of lungs melting into a chorus of one. The wish needn’t be wrapped in wrapping paper either. No, the wish should undress itself until its clothed only in the flickering light. And as the darkness falls gray should rise, fumes fragranced by the scent of your younger selves. See, the challenge is not to blow out the fire; it is to convert that fire into smoke.

(This piece was published by The Bookends Review here. Send your work there if you’re interested in publishing.)

The Lenient Lockdown

For 14 days
Maybe more
They urge us inside
The market shelves empty
The roads and sidewalks too
Nothing should remain open
But what is essential to use

Some say an end is coming
To what we know and knew
And there is an ongoing promise
That the next measures will be
Excessively harsh and severe
If this doesn’t work like it should

So I walk to work
Not knowing …