Cathexis Northwest Press
By: Josephine Pino
Blue base and feathered gold light sprouting agave violent flames toss pent up heat My cheeks catch hot and flush rose, and juniper sweet smoke blows over my tongue as I taste screaming wood and chemical starter assaults my nose. The hickory crack burn rages yet a chill remains, stubborn at my neck’s nape and root of my spine, the place where the denim of my jeans ends, gaping beltless beneath the edge of my sanguine shirt, cold pouring upward grazing skin. Or perhaps it is in my imagination, a background recognition that cold refuses to leave; it only becomes buried by the creeping hot air as striated wood releases itself into oblivion, sucking oxygen. It’s better than the worms. And I peer into the flame with unfocused vision, reality clouded by smoky scotch, melting into peaty warmth that reaches neurons of me not bloomed here, not touched by the flame though in it I give myself permission to see what isn’t there, faces of people forgotten, beasts with teeth bared, albatross wings soaring. Low moans, gurgles and hoots and absent sounds emanate from the fire even as it flickers in death and folds into the ash leaving behind astral embers lest we be left, vision blurred, thinking that none of it mattered
Josephine Pino is an educator, social justice warrior, and marine biochemist who recently discovered a passion for poetry. She enjoys exploring the intersecting lines between humans, emotions and nature. Josephine grew up in the rich cultural and natural beauty of New Mexico and now resides near lovely green Portland, Oregon. She teaches Biology at Portland Community College. She recently published her first poem, in El Portal. "As a biologist, I find poignancy in the beautiful intricacy of things that we know exist although we cannot see them directly. "Campfire, sanguine" spilled forth during a time in which I was in the midst of a mysterious health scare and it represents both my fear for my future and a recognition of the beauty of life yet to be lived."