river on fire

a swirl of color
like when a match
first strikes
magnesium
in the open air

in high school
i would get stoned
toss strips of magnesium
into the river
slivers
intense lines
of white flame
on the moving river

the same river
where dusty
fell
through the ice
when we were kids

all of us
had played
on the frozen shelf
over
the slow current

the dreams
of drowning
began soon after
of falling
from the light
of another frozen day
clawing
against the thick ice above

maybe
that is why
i tried
to set the water
on fire

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