Jack Martin

 

Not a Black Hole

In deeply wooded basement
a guy stands and says,
My name is,
and I am.

No insurmountable gravity.
No absolute darkness.
He stands like a tree.
He flickers.

The faithful say,
"Hi, Harry."
And he tells
what he remembers,

fans the havoc
of damage and wood
until his heat
engulfs the church,

until he ignites
like kindling
and in his opening,
they smolder.

After Harry,
they take turns
until everyone is
gone.

This is the opposite
of manifest destiny.
Each wisp dissipates
like a childhood

floats away,
vanishes
into distance,
not a black hole;

like, at the end of the meeting,
as each of them walks away,
smoking.