–for David S. Buckel, Environmentalist and LAMBDA lawyer who, on April 14, 2018,
self-immolated in Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Oh liontail, swing yourself, arc, arch,
strike the match, its shocking bloom.
Flame-haired devouring eye, satisfied.
Lion hungry belly, fill with him,
that you might spare the children.
You fire-breathing beasts fo despair,
with all your heads and horns, your
long-tail scales fray the rope, tip
the hope-balance farther, a little
farther, toward no more.
Ting, the finger cymbal rings flawless
into the night. Ting, twice more.
Funeral flares fling embers into our ears
before the final silence, when children’s
mouths fill with ash.
Unbuckle him, unburn him, un-
fuel his futile flames, unfossil
the fumes, regold them. Fold
him into our unarmed arms.