03.29.2006

Part of Me Belongs Forever to the Fire

Part of me belongs forever to the fire
For I am a spark of the flame thereof.
Beyond the business of the world, part of me is burning
And burned there fiercely before I was born.
Fatherless and motherless, the orphaned spark
Finally fell from an infinite height
Until finally finite, it passed into the world,
Was held and named and knew itself to be.


Part of me is a part forever of the world
And part of me stands apart continually burning.
What would you touch if you would touch my heart?
In its vacancy it is naught but stone and air,
Air compounded, pounded upon a stone,
Until a spark ignites in that sealed space,
Until a spark unites with the fire beyond,
More distant than any body can bear.


Therefore I ask you: what is love
If out of stone and air and unbearable distance
This spark has been flung far from the fire?
Souls shrivel in the flame that I am,
Bodies and souls in a rain of ashes,
Bodies and souls in the rain of disaster,
So that long after, in the business of the world,
One longs to burn and burn in the flame.

Norman Finkelstein (© 2006)