LOVE SMOLDERS
For Ocean Vuong

This was what we feared, our beautiful
white bodies racing to the fire, early morning

raking our blood-shadowed skin. This was what we 
learned, a sip of wine with that preview of our love, my 

knees against your knees - our tremble an earthquake. 
We touched our mouths with our tremor's heartbeat 

measured by Richter. After our fire subsided, our words 
cooled into an oven. Within the kitchen of our love

there are two clueless lovers cooking an uneatable meal.
There was always the smoke alarm over

the doorway. Ever another day to love - sometimes to 
wish the gods to take it away. If not the kitchen, the 

bedroom. If not the bedroom, the promise. If not the 
love, its vestiges. If not traceable, give up the search. 

This love is a fabric we've stitched into rags. This is 
what we've burned: separate but matching garments. 

This is what we cooked: a meal in the fire ending
up as ash.

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