by Ralph La Rosa

Is there a phrase or figure
for the fire that makes
rare stars subside to cinders

and green leaves flare and fall?
Makes days descend to nights
in crimson, blazing glory,

the brightest bulbs go dark,
sparklers sputter then die
and brilliant beings burn out?

Makes turtles lose their voices
and swans, long silent, sing
their first and last hosannas—

a word, a phrase, or figure
for fulfillment that is failure?


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