Béla Siptak, Mopey. Graphite, 2023


By Vonnegut Frey


Room, Darkness, a Candle

shining to see something of their surroundings.


There are others.

Some tall and smooth, standing up proudly in their youth.

Some short, lines of wax running down their old, short, haggard bodies.


All their fires burn atop a wick

Illuminating more of the room so everyone can see more than they could on their own.

The room is bright.


A candle’s flame goes out.

It can be blown out by a sudden draft

Or extinguish after many hours as the wax melts,

Reducing the candle’s condition more and more until there’s nothing left to burn.


Every time no matter the cause the room gets darker,

But there’s nothing any of the candles can do about it

Except to lean the small flames away from the breeze.


Eventually they will all go out,

Leaving only a room, darkness, and piles of wax.

The room goes on.