sometimes words

sometimes words do not have the expanse
to fit the truth they’re trying to hold

i am an apostate
i am not the first

the streetlights that dimly guide my way
are lit by the souls of those who went before
the furtive glow and the long shadows
belie the keening inside their bulbs

behind me: the church from which i’ve been cast
exiled
although my membership had always been conditional

before me: the labyrinthine forest
begging
to be set aflame, burning in concert with my fervor

beside me: the flickering of gaslit bulbs
hissing
hissing
hissing

straining to entice me
to action

and then the words run out of space
and explode into silence

— ptkh 102217

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