Home > Poetry, prose poem > infinity in flame and stardust

infinity in flame and stardust



I know what I can live with. And I know what I can live without. I know where the shadows of these two things intersect and how to cut across that kind of dark. Lately, I have a lot to be grateful for. Lately, I have fewer things I am afraid of. My heart is full of fire, and there is nothing to do but love the burn. Some moments are like that: a flame that does not scorch, but sings. The song is infinite and intimately familiar.


The thing about a fire is that it is exactly what it is. Ice, on the other hand, may hide as water. It may escape as steam. It is indifferent to its circumstances, flowing or stopping as dictated by its surrounding. But a flame is one thing, until it is something else and cannot go back. And still, some things burn forever.


Vulnerability is strange flame. Some people wear it like a scar. Others, like a shadow, something that trails behind without thought to what it means. Others, still, wear it as a reminder of bravery – an armor that is not armor. A thing that says I have stood in the middle of it and thrived. Not, it should be noticed, merely survived.


What is a knight without its armor? What is a person without pretense? The answer is singular: his or her heart. Armor may keep out a weapon, but it also keeps away a loving touch. Pretenses keep up appearances, but it holds reality at arm’s length. It is ice, pretending to be something it is not – running like water, a current that’s dangerous to cross.


All truths can be found with a deep breath and a glance skyward. All fire warms. All flames devour. But every now and again, we find something worth burning for.


This is how a fire, caught within four chambers, learns how to be itself. This is how a heart, offered, learns to leave itself behind. This is how ice becomes stardust, and everything falls – only to fall into place.


Listen: can’t you hear the song?


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