One Million Burning

light a candle

header photo

Poem by Emily Isaacson









In unity we are inseparable,

indissoluble, indivisible: the cream baby’s breath,

whispering a prayer for the devout.

The meter of tones and semitones,

iron and clay,

strong and regimented paired with healing.

A wreath of balsam, berries sequential,

and nature bows its burnished head

with bureaucratic respect

to institute some deeper sacrifice

than dark and the beauty of oil—then death.


I rise again.

I am a candle.

I am one million burning

before the year is through—burning in the windows,

lit because this country will not be ruled

by fluorescence.

Light a candle in the Old World

by the wailing wall,

shield it from the wind.

So they lit candles

in beeswax, soy, and paraffin.