The Burn Inside

Sometimes, at night, when the air is just biting enough, I like to sit outside in our Adirondak chairs
and wait in silence until the dew covers my legs.
It doesn't take that long, especially since the days are so warm
and the nights are so cold,
like adolescent love or driving a car on empty.

Used to be that the dew didn't settle. Mainly it's because I didn't care to settle
into a gentle recline and slowly let the flame in me die out until the sun came up
and refresh the burn inside.

The chiminea splits the chairs. It's this behemoth of clay and smoke,
but it's flue is covered and it's easy to light a fire in there.
Sometimes, if I feel so inclined, and I often do, I'll pretend
I live in it. Barefoot among the ashes,
I stare out the open maw into my backyard,
counting the petals on the dahlia, trying to decide what color green
the grass is today.

On nights like these, when the dew settles on my legs,
I scrounge around for some dry tinder.
Sometimes, I light the fire inside the chiminea
just to watch it burn something and devour
the simple wooden core of a branch.
It's just enough light to drink wine to.

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