After my mother died, I left my husband.
He had always been a rock
but I stumbled upon someone more
like fire, and I needed to ignite,
breathe into the blue edge of a flame,
find myself in what remained.
It’s Friday night, I slice into red peppers.
My new man scorches them on the grill
along with sweet corn, chicken in dried
thyme, Spanish olive oil. Together
ten years and I still call him new.
This is just how I talk, tell myself I’m free,
remind myself that I could be reduced to ashes
again. Sometimes I’m afraid that only burning
can purge this longing, for all that’s lost,
for those careless nights and all that blazed.
Montana Mouthful, February 2022