Slow-Burn Sky

by L. Ward Abel

A landscape view, but sky 
takes up three-fourths  
of the sweep. 

A slow-burn pit—its A-shapes 
of variously named oak—looks 
resigned here. 

I’ve placed fragments around 
the ring—old quartz, granite 

by my brevity—they yawn 
at eons, sleep through 

Still I live longer than now  
still burn under 
my skin, clothes.

I leave few remnants, carve 
nothing that lasts, char only 

in pursuit of pyrrhic gestures 
not to gods but to angled light 
that only sunsets give

for whatever reason 
whatever reason else 
I can’t imagine.

[L. Ward Abel’s work has appeared in hundreds of journals (Rattle, Versal, The Reader, Worcester Review, Whimperbang, others), including a recent nomination for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and he is the author of three full collections and ten chapbooks of poetry, including his latest collection, The Width of Here (Silver Bow, 2021).  He is a reformed lawyer, he writes and plays music, and he teaches literature. Abel resides in rural Georgia.]