inferno

the photos burn away like sugar
like the receeding tidewater

and lovers regret them
like a boy regrets his first love -
a girl regrets her first love letter

and in realizing the foolish prose,
the contrived poses,
cannot look away from the fire.

they are all princes
who would leave the world intact
even as the ashes from the
Apocalypse are washed
along the shores
and their dear
princesses

have gone insane,
carving out their names
in black brimstone hearts
not caring that the sun has
turned black with spite, clearly
the work of nobility.

what is left -
the scent of lilies,
the scent of death,
the scent of chemicals
forming images,

all the wrong memories
imprinted with ribbons of ocean
lies of lace
ink that is breathed in

at night
when no one
suspects

the truth,

that our lives are worth nothing
more than the weight of a spent match.