Phoenix

Serenity adorns her lips.
Brittle veins beneath brown fingertips,
wrinkled skin muddling common sense:
lifeless lines detail long-winded existence.

Omnipresent fire dwelling in her eyes.
We pretend that old souls are the wise,
misinterpreting youth as irrationality
and assuming with a twisted mentality that
wisdom must be cared for.

Phoebe Reyes can wash herself no longer.
I am here to be an unhappy song or
anything she desires in the midst of chaotic thought,
for knowledge comes if left unsought.

I wash the last of her silence away.
She says to go, I am finished for the day;
cherish my existence with efforts undone,
for there's fire in lullabies other than the sun (but
precious things have time limits).

Smoke clings to the depths of my lungs.
Educational videos show blackened tongues,
but there's stress derived from minimum wage
and smoke is instinctive in this day and age.

Organization, dispersing stray ash.
A cigarette thrown in a general trash
is the least of my worries; my hair stands on end
as I peruse the letters that Phoebe must send, forgetting
a lonely boy who microwaves his dinner.

At last the work is primarily finished.
I walk to home, my hopes diminished
as blankets shift in somber sleep,
apprising me I'm in too deep.

Yet head does not touch pillow long.
Before the siren sings her song,
there's commotion just outside this house;
my son is not the first to rouse, for
narcolepsy speaks less than insomnia.

They're dragging me through door to street.
There's not so much a sight to meet
as there is a tragedy to unfold,
bright flames licking a silver threshold.

Phoebe Reyes cannot escape her fate.
The house is burning, soon gone is her estate,
and a window yawns to let us fret:
I can see the outline of her silhouette, watching
us from the second floor.

There's a ghost of a smile on those lips.
It's too far for fingertips,
the wrinkled skin now a thing of the past
since Phoebe Reyes has reached her last.

Beyond the window, flames consume.
We watch in horror as the shadows loom;
nighttime fades to day and subtle ash
for there's naught to do, nothing to smash, no
words to say dignifying useless end.

Sometime soon, my little boy awakens.
He runs to me, standing alone, shaken:
I'm looking to see if she'll wheel out alive
when I see a bird rise and take to the sky.

Delusion claims she lives under this sun.
I never knew a Phoebe Reyes able to run
beneath the open stars and frosted clouds,
but I'd like to think in an earth so overcrowded with
words, she's found some meaning.

We spread the ashes in another place.
There's nothing past cool apathy upon my face,
because nobody stayed to see the miracle...
(I guess the human race prefers to be hysterical).

I never swallowed resurrection.
Some claim my insanity is above affection,
but my son has chance to fight a curse
that fails to prevent the perverseness of
my cigarette, thrown in a general trash.

Yet serenity adorns my lips.
His strong veins come from fingertips
that left when the flames sunk low,
but phoenix feathers gleam. I know.