The Furnace Speaks

Steeping in smoke
In the heat of my own emissions
Black tar resin closing the gaps in my grill
To form a cast iron mask
Blocking my dim world from view
Darker and darker
As light fades through cement block casement windows

The fuel is long gone
The fire is burning ash to ash refined
Smoke turns an unhealthy blue
As my pot belly immolates with unquenchable heat

If I could speak beyond the clanging of my gate
The popping of plate against plate
And the hiss and creak of expanding joints
My voice would be smoke and signify nothing
There are things I won’t remember
Burning down to component elements
My mouth is full of ash
Pouring from the belly of the beast

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