Ashes in the Night Sky, Bill McDowell

Black sunflowers are but red.

I am not darkness
a Lilith moon calling out beasts
and demons to roam the woods
and minds of dreamers who step
down the steps to the cave where
they store what they hide.

I am a different cave:

where every creature goes
to digest what it feels
that harbors the hermit who knows
he must wait
the scarred warrior who knows
he must heal

I am not darkness
absence of light
but its rest
as brightness in excess blinds
even the wise man who forgets
to shut now one now both eyes

I do not need flames
as a rite of passage
for I am the ashes
where the phoenix is born.


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