Two Pieces

By Benjamin Grossman

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The challenge is not to blow out the fire. The fire should only shiver, shiver as if in need
of the flames of another fire. And the candles should never weep. They should have
wounds but never scars. And before you gather your storm, words must wake,
happiness must season voices, a group of lungs melting into a chorus of one. The
wish needn’t be wrapped in wrapping paper either. No, the wish should undress itself
until its clothed only in the flickering light. And as the darkness falls gray should rise,
fumes fragranced by the scent of your younger selves. See, the challenge is not to blow
out the fire; it is to convert that fire into smoke.

Another Lamb In Need Of Slaughtering

I imagine you walking along the edge of the shadows, using “Q-tips” to remove the
skeleton-layered truths about your ears, sticking a finger down your throat to expel
your blame-filled stomach, even warming yourself up with your own tears because
you’ve tired of fire. I imagine you then closing your eyes so that you lose your shadow,
wishing for your horns, your barbed tongue, your hooves to ripen and decay. Perhaps
you pluck out your eyes when they don’t.  Perhaps you’ll sew up your mouth and penis
just so you can refrain from making fog. You’ll even burn your hands to ash. But you’ll
still hear of your elephant -like touch, of your snaky tongue banging eardrums, of the
imprint left behind by your fingerless fingerprints. And you’re eyes will sweat enough
to remake the Flood. And then you’re knees might kiss the ground and you might pray
to the prayer-answerer to be the next lamb slaughtered.

Benjamin Grossman