Geoff Anderson


Gasps for breath had woken me,
the heater unable to exhale:

I was convinced it was 
the furnace that had died,

not a cardinal,
snarled in the blower,

a poke of red feathers
between fan blades.

Each was stubborn
as hair in my wife's brush;

the more I pulled away,
the more I thought of being

lodged in the chest's
unforgiving chambers:

capacitor, ignitor, 
organs sealed with a screw.

For his misjudgment,
was the punishment swift 

or drawn out, the way
an artery can burst 

so suddenly or 
become strangled

unnoticed; if I couldn't
repent, what would 

I prefer? The fires
as they catch again

run their veins through 
the sinews of my house,

their heartless
plumes of flame.