“Would you accept it like a torch?”

I would, and light my way
through caverns dark and deep.
I would, and know this tiny lighter’s flame
can’t keep me from bumbling
through paths, self-same,
that I have tried again and over
to refrain from striding down.

I would accept it like a torch,
holding still until the glow unstows no certainty
and charred bitter ends leave darkness
blackening my fingertips –
and then I’d, after wiping ashen fingers
on my apron’s hips,
reach a digit out to mark your bottom lip.

I would accept it if you told me to,
Pausing not for chivalry
Or wasting breath to ask –

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