The Firework-Makers
by Sonya Taaffe



            We smell of gunpowder and scorching oak,

            our faces ochre and soapstone with sweat,

            bonfire-skirters, cauled in the milky smoke

            we track, sky-mirrored: repaying our debt

            to the chilling world-glitter, the serpent

            coiling through white ash and embers of stars

            lapped in its sloughing nebulae, regent

            of spent darknesses and birthing hours,

            fire-grist of the dead; their beacons. And ours,

            as this globe turns nightside among the spheres

            breathlessly flinging comets and pulsars

            in saltpetre handfuls, the brand of years

            burned back to that farthest spiraling bright,

            laying in soot and sparks our road of light.



About the Author:

Sonya Taaffe has a confirmed addiction to myth, folklore, and dead languages. Her poem “Matlacihuatl’s Gift” shared first place for the 2003 Rhysling Award, and poems and short stories of hers have been been nominated for the Gaylactic Spectrum Award, the Pushcart Prize, and the Locus Award, shortlisted for the SLF Fountain Award, and honorably mentioned in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. A respectable amount of her short fiction and poetry can be found in Postcards from the Province of Hyphens and Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books). She holds master's degrees in Classics from Brandeis and Yale.


Poem © 2008 Sonya Taaffe.