Vievee Francis

Bless the Kindling World

Bless the kindling world

that straps its children

into armor then sets a wick


beneath their feet.

They splinter. How we splinter

them. Limbs stacked and spilling


into dump-yards, into graves,

into glutted rivers of amber.

Bless children raised to be felled.


We drain the tears from their ducts,

shake down the fat from their bones

until light as brushwood, they rise


like sparks that flicker briefly

then sputter to their end.

Bless the tinder world,


a victory garden of sticks

we cull to feed our flame,

of stones we keep at hand.