Fragment on [ekpyrōsis]

From the casket-length mounds of fallen leaves,
spectral fingers of gasoline, up-furled,
filter and set the atmosphere writhing
with their mantic distortion. In the cold,

there’s something stark and final that settles
down the valley of our nameless river
and works its strange augury—yard alive
to earth and to residues of spirit.

Each year since my grandfather’s grandfather
planted this homestead in the aching ground
ends in these, our ephemeral fires;
one crackling match letters a palimpsest

of flame beyond which the retreating frost
compasses its aura of loam. Firelight
flits and scrapes the sky’s beclouded floors, throws
its monstrous [occlusions] <. . .>

<. . .> that each should, by turns,
even to the tips of the unpeopled
mountains <. . .>
<. . .> greet purity in [erasure]

Nathan Manley is a writer and teacher living in Loveland, CO. He holds an MA in English literature from the University of Northern Colorado. His poems have appeared in Think, About Place Journal, Flint Hills Review, and others. He is also the author of the chapbook Numina Loci (Mighty Rogue Press, 2018). You can find his
writing and instrumental music at