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Oct 2017
Hard to imagine life by candlelight.

Dinner and reading, days of rain.
Fire and its heat. I am used to candles with scents:
grapefruit and fir; eucalyptus mint; tobacco leaf;
sea salt and chamomile; red hibiscus flower.
Hold your hand inches above the flame, feel its itch.

The wick of a wax bedside candle can burn
unevenly and flake at its edges. The wax will
pool at the base of the wick, a reservoir of scents.

For millennia this wick was rapture, a flame
lighting moonless nights and lightly warming
little spaces. We made fire stay put, gave it a
finite life and watched it burn away from top
to bottom until it was dark once more.

Now we light the world with gaudy neon,
pulsing blisters and hulking electric strobes
that do not change. Cold fire in a glass bottle.

These fitful wicks have been replaced by manlight.
Christopher Hendrix
Written by
Christopher Hendrix  Blue Springs, Missouri
(Blue Springs, Missouri)   
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