Alive Like Ghosts

Here long sat beside the cold hearth,
A gnarled wanderer, still as stone.
The sun gone pale, cast dim and hard.
Memory hangs, swirls--glinting motes.

Forgotten by dreams, breathe and breathe.
Night conjures its keen beasts of prey,
Sliding like moonlight through trees,
Toward where the wanderer stays.

Fear, but the merest remembrance
In a heart empty of purpose,
Where bright songs no more dare to dance;
Dead as the hearth, a gray furnace.

Then, as tooth breaks upon the bone,
Marrow flakes away from embers.
A howl becomes the bellows, stoke,
Smoke, flame--now the lung remembers.

Blood rips through the wanderer's heart,
Sure fingers find a wolfish throat,
Eyes lock, an end ignites the start.
New fire incinerates the ghost.