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Image: Phoenix Rising by Ruth Calder Murphy


She sees an opportunity for escape and takes it.

By the skin of her teeth she flies,

the world falling away and every day till now

dropping to the depths of distant memory.

In her own blood she paints exquisite calligraphy

on the lintels of the rest of her life.

She’s free.

The world’s ablaze behind her

and she feels the inferno singeing her tail feathers

and making them sing like incense sings in the air around stone circles.

She shakes the ashes off her feet

and marvels in the pyrotechnics of her flight.

Night flows from her back like ink.

Rising towards daybreak

she bursts - a comet’s tail of incendiary light -

a trail of bridges exploding in her wake.

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