I’ve slept in front of a woodstove to see him come alive.
Instead of life, he melted into a coffin, freed
like funeral smoke out of a steeple for the first time.
Gold flecks of grieving nourish the skylines
and I am huddled, praying, tied to a tree.
I’ve stoked a woodstove until my father came alive.
Sparks blew through the sleeping bag (bright
heat). I thought all of his ashes would bleed
steeping slow enough to stop time.
My breathing is heat for the first time—
Or save myself from pain and drift into sleep
into a furnace I can talk to but never comes alive.
I dreamt his ashes retched across the sky,
birds chirped like a smoke detector losing its battery,
and I can’t sleep long enough to speed time.
The bled Februarys, what hunting rifles do to walking
and remember, you can stay warm in a snow cave
where you dream slow enough to stay alive,
but I would burn up in a woodstove in order to see time.