I have seen women
walk barefoot
on burning coals

boys barely seven
prodding errant arms back
into a devouring pyre, with
wooden poles taller than they

a lifetime crackling its way
to elemental particles

I have seen women
take men, one after the other
their sweat lit bodies
rubbing against the thrust
of convention, ravenous
satiated, proud

I have seen women labor
burning fierce pain, birthing
resolve along side tiny
baby bones and blood

seen forests devoured
town consumed by
drought driven blazes

irresistibly drawn, I watch
the famed moth circle in ever closer
orbits till that split moment when
flame flicks out her tongue
to trap those small fuzzy bodies
in sizzling wax

enflamed by yearning
Icarus flew ever higher, why not

melt in flame or soar forever?