23 May 1991
The most difficult thing to capture is
A flame's burning out. The wind suddenly
Blowing it out: this is too poetic, too dramatic.
Licking thumb and forefinger and manually
Extinguishing it is too showy--like stating
Control over fire, or claiming to be superhuman.
Letting it burn to its base is too hopeful--
There is only wondering
About when, indeed, it will die.
Burning it at both ends is interesting.
I'll give it a triplet;
(Edna St. Vincent Millay gave it a quatrain).
The best way is the accidental,
Like the way I once met a girl
(It's a true story): I'm best at accidents,
At throwing a snowball into her window,
Knocking-over a candle into her hair,
Transfering all of its flame to her head.

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