Two Lines 6: Fires
Lou, in the rearview mirror of a brief instant
Lou, don’t you see me?
—from “Still the Two of Us” by Henri Michaux, translated from the French by James Brook
Writing about fire, I am haunted by what it has cost me, by memories of passions that flared and singed and were stomped out, memories of homefires suddenly doused, of the dead silence after the fire finally crackled down to nothing. I am newly wary of standing too close to the flame. Passion might destroy me—a moth with experience, with a memory—and burn the page. Worse yet, the fire, personal or creative, might never be sparked again. If I approach the flames now, what can I afford to lose? Without a hearth to hold the fire, will my passions spread out of control? If I step into the fire, will all hell break loose? —THE EDITORS