Burning the Old Year

by Naomi Shihab Nye


Letters swallow themselves in seconds.
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.

So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.
I begin again with the smallest numbers.

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,
only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.

Comments

summer said…
sorry to leave this comment here but I've been trying earnestly to find the English poetic translation of the Ovid excerpt you have on your banner. It is the subject of a painting I own and I would be tremendously grateful if I understood better what it meant. Putting the Latin into a translator seems to garble the context. I thought perhaps you could steer me in the right direction?

Thank you so much for your help.
Summer Zandrew

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