crack an dawn

By Christian Mack

“December Storm” by Charles Ephraim Burchfield, 1941-1960

—and, fed-up, the sun walks out
and i knew that he 
wouldn’t be coming back,
this time. I soaked my hair in
phosphorous and piss and iodine,
gathered felled and dead leaves
and the other chaff we keep
graveside; i tore down the shed
and buried the shovels, i choked
the birds and planted their songs
just above the shovels.
Dig it.
I set my hair alight and started
my long march down the block.
the neighbors glanced as the skin
peeled over my eyes and the 
skull, pitch black, which had been
charred long before a Promethean poker,
Greek candlelight, had touched it.
I have been dying since long before
my skin shew it—when I trounced down 
the flank of Vesuvius, it was astonishing, to me,
how lively the folks at Pompeii were; even
when silent, even when slate-still. They are not so impressive to me, anymore.
Tar grafted to the bone—black to the fetid root, like the black birch where my mother found me hanging, took me down, and walked me to
mouth of a winding, red river. She dashed my head on the rock, and she saw, then, what I was, despite my trying to hide it—no hiding place, etc

as I lifted
my hands to my face, the pebbles hurled themselves at me, pelted my knuckles—
in this way the river made itself a walking
Momma didn’t pay no mind. 
She took a handful of saffron sky spittle, and deposited her hand on my left breast.
“This,” she said “is the mark of our bond unto
death.” I thought it was rather funny, at the time—thought she was joking. She couldn’t have been more serious; and she was right. 

And now here I stand, singed, cliffside, the hearth of my scalp and molten insides the only light I know, the sweetest light I know. All that’s left. I consider giving it, too, to the dirt. It is inevitable. It is inevitable. It is inevitable. 
I look back up. The sky seethes sapphire and amber.
I remind myself that it is impossible to see the westbound bank from an eastshoaled vantage.
I am the sun, now; nobody will notice
that I’m not the old guy.

Firebrand, fetish, fatalist?

Fed-up; as with all mercurial temperaments.