m a r y e l i z a b e t h p a r k e r
Lighting matches to keep warm,From The Sex Girl, © 1999 ~ publisher Urthona Press, Asheville, NC
the matchgirl caught fire.
Now her bones glow like streetlamps.
Their gleam will flesh out in your memory:
her streetcorner frescoed in light,
her face in broken water in the street.
Stripped clean in the light, her love
is a shoplifter's coat, revealing
a bowl of milk, a gilt spoon.
In the ark of her bones, matches
flicker with an uneasy heat.
Don't look down from her face
or scrape in your pocket for change --
when this moment is gone she'll have to take back
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