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The Red Tower

by Kim Philley

after de Chirico

They say I worship you
with my small light,
as if all light is hope.

I made a torch from driftwood
to circumambulate
the dark coil of the hall.
Meaning, to walk forever
in one’s own footsteps.

Look to my flame
held high in the black window.
Transfix upon
the mounting, matchless beauty
of its center. Consider
why fire is worshipped.

First sadist,
Father of ceremony.

It renders exquisite.
Then it destroys.


Kim Philley was born in Singapore in 1978 and grew up in Indonesia, Thailand, and Virginia. She now lives in Idaho and Charlottesville, Virginia, where she is a Henry Hoyns Fellow. (4/2006)

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