A Terror

A Terror

I hold the torch
prepared to confront the metal
but my attention is fixed on
the blue cone of flame
gushing from its mouth
the exhalations of a small
but very dangerous
dragon. My hand shakes.
Steadies. I draw in my breath.
The dragon circles its head
breathes on the metal
sizzles flux into a fried-on scaly skin
then turned clear. A magic.
The metal is ready. With tweezers
I pick up a ball of solder
a tiny seed of a speck
drop it onto the metal. It rolls
I nudge it rolls I nudge it sticks.
The dragon and I breathe out.

Again and again
we work this uneasy partnership
the dragon and I
until the metal is arranged
ready for next
I close the dragon’s mouth
in a pop of gas
a phrase cut off.


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