This is a small piece of light.
Smoke drifts up, the scent of a gumdrop Douglas Fir,
Scratched out years on a prison wall.
Here to mark the lesson learned.
The anchors of my family have sunk into the sand.
Recycled into another’s responsibility.
Another young couple’s highly-stipulated gift.
Christmas, for me, has not changed.
I feast on the pictures of children
and I admire the old bar-patrons
using, re-using this seasonal excuse, but betraying complaints
with a small light behind the eye. Red. Green. Silver.
I bought this candle because you did not think that I would.
I’d never thought of sealing the lid to put out the flame,
watching the smoke curl. Smoke always curls,
as the Train curls through our part of town, groaning at 4 a.m.
to tell me I’m crazy.
And it’s time for the goddamn sweetest of dreams,
where I can’t hurt anyone, at least.
Tomorrow I will complain about Christmas.
Look for the light.