They licked the air,

Millions of tongues beat
Their split-second retreat
Then, another fix:
An addiction to oxygen.

They never gulped it down, no,
They knew how to stretch this high.
A collective ecstasy in some
Irrepressible pursuit of longevity.

On the brink of death,
A quick and dignified death.

Darkened skin,
Thinner than thin.
Each kept the next
In a silent embrace.

They were not victims in this massacre,
Though tangled in the tongues of heat.
There was the knowledge of metamorphosis
Beyond their physical state.

All would meet an end.
Was this fire’s destruction
or paper’s rebirth?


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