Jocelyn Sears

Say farther, say fire. Picture the horizon
folding, an origami crane, into itself and
disappearing. Though you see the glow of so many          
stars, they are candles already snuffed out. Sound
runs so much more slowly than light. Say
firecracker, say farther from. Picture each star
as a fuse. Picture yourself as a fish
in an oil-spill ocean set ablaze, tin-can tabs
of scales flickering orange in the hungry
light. Picture the night eating
itself—mouthfuls of salt and ash gulletted.
See the fire go out as all lamps go out, and the sea
still there, and you, finned one, your eyes
deep planets, you see the galaxy swallow
like a clam, then hang its endless
pearls—so many wraithed spots of light. Now say
ablution, say farther stars. Singed darling: say



I began composing this poem aloud while driving my car, a setting that is likely responsible for its returning to and turning on two particular words.