flaming pajamas

Cotton is the perfect

Flame is in love

         with natural fibers.
Unsure of itself at first, heat gasps
the gimmick, slow lick trick, aberrant

breeze bellowing below stairs, pairs.

I am the keeper   

of many flames.
I have an allegiance

          to shine, flash, burn,
having been sputtered by each in turn.
Oh, my ignitable heart, quinqua-

genarian phneuma, womb loom.

I awake to the nap.

My pajamas are on fire.
Blaze trapped in a cage,

        a lean-to of sticks
of my own making, knotted and
gnarled, spare and magnified.

Stirring catches the whole thing.

A spark must flourish,

lured by fabric, pattern, chronology,
burnishing the years

          like a cautery.
I remember my two ribs, brittle
by now. They tell me: less is more.

I am the juxtaposition,

arms, legs, torso,
weight of experience,

          brain incendiary.
Perhaps, unbuttoned,
I can dream better.   

© Tori Grant Welhouse