Some hard, half-eaten logs
lie drifting in ash:
black in the flocculent
smother of grey.
Just a puttering flame,
the occasional spat of cinder.

Holding a sheet of the Times
up against it, though,
the lung of paper sucked in
and suddenly lit from behind:
a roaring diorama;
the long throats of fire, feasting,

hungry for news. The page is read,
then reddened, then consumed.

This Issue

April 23, 1998