I: Taper

this candle
the color of mead
blooming with morning light
mellow-sweet fragrance
cotton wick yet white
its sooty blackness divined
long before my lighter
hums electric
to offer oil to Hestia
to tip frankincense
drop by drop for Zeus
as the wick keeps
the beeswax tame
its fuel bridled
by tight weave

II: Jarred

a wood wick
flat as a fingernail
the candle’s flesh white
studded with fragrance
when I lit you
you hissed
as if the wax coaxed
impressions of the crackle
of fireplaces
from nothing more than a sliver
held erect with fuel
its pattering a deafening potency
underlaying each prayer
triangle-sharp flecks
extinguishing themselves
as if the wax cannot hold the wild


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