The Phoenix

Jacob Klein

I have been pleading for the fire to come
For a long time now; it springs up from the ground
In a shining, shifting arabesque and paints

My world in sweeping strokes of crimson.

It crawls up old and weary features masked

By a net of scars so ancient

Even they have given up being angry.

I dance among the lapping flames,
Shedding despairs like feathers.

This is the cruelest kind of ecstasy.

Memories are burnt for fuel.

And every point of pride or regret,

Pleasures so weathered they have

Become burdens, years of sorrow,

Years of joy, every triumph and defeat,

Hopes and doubts, all these things

Which once tugged at my limbs

Until every move I made was like a sailor

Trying to swim against a riptide,
They all cascade down my naked frame
To gather, impotent, at my feet,
Reduced to a pile of whispering ash;

Slowly, my body crumbles until the screams

Of joyous pain have no throat left to live in.
The flames subside... and I emerge,
Stretching new muscles, testing the limits

Of altered bones and virgin flesh,

Eager to hear the sound of my voice for the first time.

Stepping forward, the ashes of my old body are scattered

Into the wind, only echoes now.

I am a recent graduate from New Jersey who graduated with a B.A. in Creative Writing with a History minor from Farleigh Dickinson University. I am an emerging writer currently working on my first novel and with an unpublished book of poetry based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses. I write both poetry and prose, and tend to lean towards the mythic, the fantastic, and the bizarre in my writing.

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