I will see if you burn like walnut this winter-hot, long.
Or if you exhaust like birch-up in flames.
How strong heart must be to burn like seasoned ash.
You taught me how to ignite, but I was never listening
until I was left to decipher your smoke.
I’ve never seen a brighter fire than yours,
and then it died. Leaving me to burn for two.
I once witnessed a star streak across the sky
after, I prayed to be heard. And I took that
as a sign–maybe, someday, if I am lucky,
I can be even the dimmest star in your constellation.
Tia Cowger is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University. A poet at heart, her work has been published in Eastern’s literary journal, The Vehicle, Toe Good, Bloodpuddles, and Gone Lawn.