- Apology to Candles
Because we use you mostlyfor show, personal or public:a romantic dinner, birthdays, Mass.Because for our everyday livesyou seem too decadent somehowor dangerous, and prized morefor scent than your fragile,fluent light. Because we stashyou in a drawer, unspokenfears awaiting the next disaster.Because we fail to recognizethat the shiver of filamentswithin each incandescent bulb recallsflames wavering on their wickswhen a draft passes throughthe room. And yes, becausetoo often we place youin a child’s bewildered gripat the latest neighborhood vigil,your sputtering and fervid gesturesreminding us how shadows shift. [End Page 392]
PETER VERTACNIK’s poems and translations have appeared in Folio, Literary Matters, Poet Lore, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and Water~Stone Review, among others. A finalist for the 2021 Donald Justice Poetry Prize, he currently attends The University of Florida.