by Catherine Pugh
Issue: Ricercari (Summer 2012)

globe of luminosity on
the tips of her fingers
balanced, unparalleled.

washes of red and orange play over cream-white
the pearl shines soft on its precarious seat
the warmth would shatter another;
but pearls are strong
they came from the sea
so how could fire harm them?

her hand shudders
and flames reflect, an imitation of embers
color but no

so crimson dances, fire on water
and the orb wobbles, teeters
and topples
to land on the stone below

it rolls to a stop
by a head whose eyes
will never again
see the inferno.