fugitive of delight, the fire
devours them in its absence
coals flicker before their eyes
(signs of waning members); strives

to be the unmistaken mark
of an infinity of power
and love in one insatiable
sweet ecstasy of perspiration

by mind and hand the tower of limbs
arose before the unforeseen
spark of mystic love ignited
crackling forms of bark and branch

now ashes drift everywhere
from that diminishing desire

Image Map © 1997 Phillip B. Burton