Sulphur Flame 2

What did she wear that night, what was her name?

He retraces his steps to that place

The place where she waited – for him

He can still feel the cool iron rails slipping through his fingers

The warm summer night’s air on the back of his hand

He remembers being calm, very calm

But for a sense of tension rising, from inside

He stopped, almost at the top of the steps

She stood, silently calling him on

Their invocation, her invitation, his initiation

Her eyes held no fear, just questions

Will he, won’t she; will she, won’t he?

The setting sun burnished her midnight skin – it glistened

The scent of her breath has evaporated in the mists of his mind

Any words she spoke, lost on the breeze of time

But not the baying of the crowd

Not the caterwauling and wolf wailing 

Eyes wide and white

Lips salivating, they awaited his ascension and downfall

Their beating feet in time with his heartbeat

The soft breeze licked his legs, kissed his arms

Casting off doubt as a snake sloughs old skin

He stepped forward, forward toward her

And then, her hand in his hand, and there

The flame, the sulphur flame, melting his palm

Her gift, their etenal pyre, – his archaic stigmata

The cry of the crowd called him round

Would she deny him, would she acquiesce?

Destiny sang a tune – they coalesced

He reached around the back of her head

Tight, lustrous curls filled his hand

Raven spiders wriggled through his fingers

Her yet to bloom breast embraced his chest

Eyes closed; mouths opened; throng silenced

Virgin lips met lips; skins tingled

The embrace filled his life

As one, they filled the night sky

Sometimes she visits him, a ghost dancing through fog

Swaying through the ballrooms of his memory,

Leading him in a ballet of bliss

He will forget many things over his life

But not being at the top of a slide, and his very first kiss.

◄ Cultus Decorum

Father's Day ►


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