The Conservation of Inferno
Like Hecate in a housedress,
I stack triumphant cans on the shelf
behind the glass jar of hot peppers
I discovered while kitchen scrubbing.
Only the cruel brand of fate
would spontaneously regenerate
moths inside the same storage
as dried flames of cayenne.
More than once I have shaken inferno
to rouse wings for flying.
By then most legs were crumpled up
in a strange act of rigor mortis.
Sometimes after stoking the oven
with temptations of lamb roast,
cinnamon bread or butter cookies,
my arms flush red with devilry.
I grab the container and shake
a prophecy of karma, moth-life
with capsaicin which circulates
burns through venation.
I think of crank callers, catechists
doorbelling early Sunday mornings,
that drunk driver who ran over
my rose bushes, and shake harder.