I sat in that dark room with nothing

but the fire spreading light

like a neon sign,

the woman poised in her grand arm chair

palms facing me.


When I removed the book from her shelf

I couldn’t help but notice the bleak

wall staring back at me

while I held its mask in my hands.


The smell of that smoke will always

bring me back,

I swear to God I only spent those years

learning for you.


I can’t exactly explain what I gained

with the heat on my face, but I can promise you

I will give you my love as long and consistently

as the swift strokes in a Reichen piece.