shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Trapper Markelz

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The Day We Talked About Death At Church

I thought I heard the tap
of someone choreographing

a knitting needle, but it was the flame
that licked the tin–a noisy burn.

Every fire beneath a soaring roof of song
becomes a sign of magical transformation.

It takes a flicker to illuminate the line
from baby cry to broken hip and fractured cross.

I felt the hold of all the tempered breaths,
abundant as bird song over a waiting pond.

It takes skill to name a creature by its call,
to unmask a melody in the first second,

to waste so much time and not blame
ourselves for the wasting. I thought

I heard the birds but it was my breath,
the force of a sigh to smother the flame.