THE INNOCENCE

We are kindled when born, small fires, if lucky,
cupped by the gentle hands of loving parents,
a tinder box full of innocence that gives light.
But innocence is a soft wood, easily consumed.
It blazes unevenly, a green wood flaring with the wet sap
of adolescence. The good of the world is still inside us
but a thousand sparks rush upward like stars, blinding us
with their brightness. We become what we see, a fire burning
with the boldness of new desires as we consume more
than we need. It’s then our innocence is spent
in what we call the awakening, the first chill
of a perverse disappointment seeping through our universe,
the cinders cooling. Decades pass until rediscovered
0ur dreams preserved in the amber of our youth.