Shower of Sparks
“Emperor Domitian held gladiator bouts at nighttime by torchlight, sometimes pitting women against dwarfs as well as each other.” – Did Women Fight as Gladiators in Ancient Rome? —History.com
The old green Ford is giving us trouble again,
and it’s far too cold to mechanic.
There isn’t a female gladiator or a dwarf in sight,
but I am indeed holding a torch so that you have
enough light to work by. Next year,
we’ll be set up better, get the yard wired.
You are laughing and gripping a wrench
that gleams with the fire in my hand,
fire I have single-handedly wrestled there,
having torn it off the edge of the winter moon
as if the moon were a flint and I alone
had ladder enough to reach its quartz.
Truth be told,
my hand must be the wettest place on earth by now,
and still you burn in it, lighting us both like caves that
have run together,
underground streams with high walls
decorated in primitive paintings,
buffalo running, mock early representations
of our original nature,
before anyone told us it was wrong to be that way.
I sink into you a little more each day.
“She will start,” you say, victorious,
catching the snow
on the rough side of your tongue.
by Nicole Michaels
Editor’s Note: The imagery in this poem, sharp yet beautiful, skillfully emphasizes the strength of the characters and their joy in existing in this moment.