© September 22, 2013 by Swami X

 Burning Man 2013--Man burn

She sits with her back to him

Facing two people

An intimacy

That threatens his own

Like the upcoming bonfire

He sees a future

In flames

Burning Man--couple watching the man burn2

As the fireworks settle

The pyrotechnics blow

Lighting the Man ablaze

He scans his surrounding

Like a bank robber assessing his target

Rangers spread around the burning Man

to prevent “runners”

close enough to stop those high on hash

but spread out too far

to stop an athlete like himself

whose made a decision

to cross the finish line

 

He looks at her

Staring at the inferno

Through her goggles

He wants to kiss her

Tell her he loves her

But they are so far gone

he’s already ruined enough

he doesn’t want to ruin her final burn

 

He tries to hold onto frozen moments:

 

When she told him he was the only thing that mattered to her

short-lived

but in that moment

he had wings and knew Heaven

angel on cloud

When she wrote on the temple wall that she had fallen in love with him

and he was no longer her boyfriend

but love incarnated

IMG_2445 - Version 2

When he asked her what she saw in his eyes and she said,

“Everything”

and his eyes saw forever

 

But he can’t prevent them from melting

And slipping through his fingers

 

Japanese kamikaze

HE STANDS UP AND STARTS TO WALK

LIKE A KAMIKAZE PILOT LOCKED INTO HIS TARGET

HE SETS HIS SIGHT ON A COLLISION COURSE

60 YARDS AWAY

THE BURNING STRUCTURE

HEAD SCANNING THE RANGERS

WONDERING HOW FAR HE WOULD GET

BEFORE THEY NOTICED HIM

 

40 YARDS

 

A THIRD OF THE WAY THERE

WHEN A RANGER SPOTS HIM

FLASHES HER LIGHT

AND SEES THAT PHOTONS ARE POWERLESS TO STOP HIS PROGRESSION

 

HE SENSES HER SUDDEN REALIZATION

THAT SHE HAS A REAL-WORLD RUNNER ON HER HANDS

NO MORE ABSTRACT THEORY

SHE STARTS TO RUN TOWARDS HIM

AND HIS WALK BREAKS INTO A SPRINT

man on fire8 (running image)

30 YARDS

 

SHE TRIES TO CUT THE ANGLE

HE SHIFTS HIS TRAJECTORY SLIGHTLY AWAY FROM HER

AND CONTINUES FULL THROTTLE AHEAD

 

20 YARDS

 

HE CROSSES THE THRESHOLD

WHERE THE SEARING HEAT

BLASTS HIS EXPOSED FACE AND HANDS

AND HE HAS A FLASHBACK

TO OPENING THE OVEN AT 425 DEGREES

TO CHECK THE PROGRESS ON THE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

HIS MOTHER WAS MAKING THEM

baking cookies

THE HEAT EMBRACES HIM

LIKE A SACRED “OM”

FILLING HIS NOSTRILS

WITH THE SMELL

OF BURNT HAIR

AS IT WELCOMES HIM HOME

 

10 YARDS

 

TIME BECOMES SLUGGISH AND DELIBERATE

HIS SENSES FEEL HEIGHTENED

MOVEMENT IS SLOW-MOTION

 

 

SUDDENLY HIS EARS GO DEAF

AND HE IS NOT SURE IF HE HEARS

OR JUST IMAGINES

MUFFLED SHOUTS

OF RANGERS

AND BURNERS

…AND MAYBE HER

 

HE MAKES IT TO THE EDGE OF THE FIRE

AND LIKE AN OLYMPIC LONG JUMPER

HE PLACES ONE OF HIS COLORFUL DUCT TAPED SNEAKERS

ON THE OUTER PERIMETER OF BURNING WOOD

AND HURLS HIS BODY

AS FAR AS HE CAN

INTO THE FLAMES

man on fire3

The excruciating, agony

Dissipates

As his body dumps its full supply of morphine

And suddenly there is no pain

No shouts

Only silence

He feels nothing

As he look out through the blurry heat waves

 

Physical torture

Emotional torment

Is smoldering

And he is somehow separate from it all

man on fire7

For a moment he wonders

If he is sitting next to his girl

Daydreaming this baptism by fire

And he wants to hold her

Cry in her arms

And tell her he’s sorry

Burning Man--couple watching the man burn

But he is no longer the body

That lies charred and burning among the cinders

So he has nothing to take him to his love

And emotion needs a vessel to carry it

 

He is not the love and anger and sorrow and pain

That rotated in colors all week

Like the spinning Wheel of Fortune

Driving him to become a runner

Seeking stability in insanity

Wheel of Fortune

The last of him is a few straggling thoughts

Floating on the heated air current

Like the snowflakes of ash

That bathes the crowd

 

He tries to hold onto the image of her face

How her eyes looked into his

As he leaned in to kiss her for the first time

full of possibilities

Before she started to frown more than smile

almost_kissing

Like waking up after a dream

Soon his hold on this world

Goes up in smoke as well

And now even his thoughts alchemize into pure energy

 

Now he is beyond the pain of being human

And beyond being able to tell a girl he loves her

man on fire4

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