I rip the basket from the lamp
and hope with the sheer force
of a tree in a tornado that you’ll
see something salvageable in the flame.
It’s been the same wick for a decade
and in that time I’ve played the game
of waving rapidly my hand over
the sparks, tempting extinction.
At 28, I sawed the lampstand
in half and sold it in parts.
I convinced people they needed them,
these possessions of mine, which were sacred
because I’d touched them. The profits were swallowed
and I found myself in a ghost town, thinking
I was a tourist of the living, while it was the living
touring the dead man who knew not how he came there.
About the Author: Connor Stratman lives in Dallas, TX. His books and chapbooks include Some Were Awake (plumberries, 2011), Volcano (2011/2017, Writing Knights), and An Early Scratch (Erbacce, 2010). His work has appeared in journals such as Ditch, Counterexample Poetics, Earl of Plaid, Etcetera, Backlash, Moria, Dead Snakes, and Otoliths.
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Image Credit: John Margolies “D.T.’s Liquor sign, Cheyenne, Wyoming” (1980) The Library of Congress