It’s better to marry than to burn, wrote Paul

But what the hell was he on about?

Desire smolders within me and I cannot put it out,

nor contain it, nor stop it in its course.

Fire refines, said the Psalmist,

but at this point I’m more concerned with

whether it will take the whole house down with it.

If I could contain it, what would be left–

An empty carapace?

A charcoaled ember?

A burnt offering?

I try to dampen the flame with distraction,

I read dull books, divert my mind with thoughtless tasks

And it works, for a little time,

but the spark just will not go out,

And without warning, I am ablaze again.


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