Late Fire – Laura Treacy Bentley

I think it is all light at the end; I think it is air
Larry Levis, “The Quilt”

The poet told us Yeats came to him in a dream
and said, “Passion is everything.”

He repeated the words again
as if somehow we hadn’t heard.

Then he began to read,
the summer sun streaming through the windows,
the microphone flashing like starlight.

The next day
he went swimming in a lake.

I saw his body crack the surface of the water,
as he swam under that July sun.

His wake lapped against the shore,
covering my bare feet like laughter.

This summer
he is dead.

Just before he died,
he’d been working on a single line,

over and over.
“One late fire

burning beside a field.”

First published in CONTROLLED BURN,
Collected in LAKE EFFECT, Bottom Dog Press

Posted in Blog.

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