Layer by layer they burn
and peel away, as much as skin
or growth rings. What locked-away
state of unawareness, other life form,
brings desire to combust
out of rock exposed to flame
admittedly as intense as that delivered
by a burning shed with its caches
of toxins: its vats and wineskins
of poison, its insulations and wiring,
its indiscretions of lead and paint,
its gasconade and jactitation of plastics.
What makes rock burn? Granite
sheds its layers like fat embroiled
by pure oxygen or something we breathe
but don’t recognise, crackling,
busting up its blowhard petrified
indifference. We are soaked in our opinions.
Fire: a vacuum these rocks can breathe in,
a self-defeating coup de grâce of violent
diegesis, the York gums nearby still
standing, if singed, while the rocks hiss
cellular soul-filled agony, their
blue flames not of our palette,
life forms charred beyond


Image courtesy of the author

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