Joint 2nd Prize, Second Light Poetry
published in Mxlexia, No. 30.
have been taught to measure and sift
lightening powders. I love their names,
burning power within, chlorate of potash,
antimony, gunpowder, pyroxylin
magnesium. They are poisonous, rank,
are most dangerous to work, being fierce
unpredictable when transformed into heat
light that scorches. I burn crushed sugar
potash or sprinkle magnesium powder
guncotton or grains of saltpetre.
waves and I light the powders
today I am distracted.
studio is dark in winter light; the mirrors
with slivers, scimitars of silver.
woman undresses, my body swollen
heat as she unpins her hair. It explodes
her soft pale flesh. Monsieur is impatient,
Allez! So I strike the allumette,
the woman’s smile, forget to remove
hand as powder ignites and detonates
the mirror disintegrates in a green shower.