by Richard Stern

fine accountclumsy New York Review of Books review
             ...the wood no longer can abjure
agreement with that flame which you're outthrowing
Come, you, you the last one I recognize,
incurable pain within the web of flesh.
As my mind burns, you see I burn
in you; the wood that long resisted
the flame you feed. Now I nourish you and burn in you.
My mildness becomes in your fury
a fury out of hell, not here.
Totally pure, totally unplanned, free of the future,
I climb on the tangled pyre of suffering,
certain of never getting anything back
for this heart whose reserves are gone.

Am I still the one who, unrecognized, burns?
I bring no memories here.
Life, life. To be outside it
While I burn.
       No one knows me.