by Lily Iona MacKenzie

Published in Issue No. 43 ~ December, 2000

Everything seems new against the fire that now lights
the world, blackbird not black
but blueish green, its feathers notes for a violin. Even sea shells
are pure color, the luminosity
of peach, gold, and sandstone holding shapes in constant
hunger. They sit on the bookcase, startled
by themselves, inhabited by ocean, the sky, knobby
protuberances reaching out
in all directions like spring. Oh, and the books, they too
have become more, gifts from friends, strangers, black letters
piling up on white shelves, pyres of ashes watching
themselves become meaning. All this
and the Sunday morning light no different
from any other Sunday, yet not
the same, filled with itself and flames
hovering at edges. We were created
from flame, flesh a second thought,
made from words now ashes filled
with blood, spirit. The levelers blink
at the day, protecting the window, glass holding
it all back. Without it there would be too much
to take in, an apocalypse of colors–purple, sage, forest
green, the peach of an ear drum, the swirling pastels
of the knee’s interior. All this.

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A Canadian by birth, Lily Iona MacKenzie has lived in the San Francisco Bay area for a number of years where she teaches English and Canadian Literature at the University of San Francisco. Her work has been published in Anima, Psychological Perspectives, B.C. Outdoors, Poet's Podium, Crazyquilt Quarterly, and Marin Review, Berkeley Poetry Review and the Denver Post.

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