Some go willingly;
The fire in which his body burns
Lights into her thin negligee, her hair—
One way or another: She comes back
From that pyre as ash.
Sati, that nonstop goddess, ignited herself
Like a lighter thumbed open—
Flame like a slit throat—
Gilt-black: the copper-red avenger.
He wants to make love to you one last time.
A widow I know made herself into a nerve
Kite: up, up in smoke. Because he'd blown
Himself away and left her with a fury at him
She could never express. O she burns, burns
In her own bones. What good are the earth's
Rickety steps hacked into the hillside? Ascend,
Ascend, little sheep. He loves me; he loves me not.
Carol Muske-Dukes is professor of creative writing and English at USC and the author of eight books of poems, most recently Twin Cities.
For Slate's poetry submission guidelines, click spacerhereyeshyperlinkPoetry SubmissionsSlate reads new poems from Oct. 1 to April 30. Manuscripts sent between May 1 and Sept. 30 will not be considered.To submit poems: Send, as a single attached document, up to three poems of no more than 50 lines each to email@example.com. Use the poet's name for the subject line of the e-mail and for the title of the attachment. We prefer Word documents (.doc or .docx) to PDFs.Please include a brief, professional cover letter, including publication history, in the body of your email. Please limit submissions to one per poet per annual reading period. Simultaneous submissions are OK. Slate no longer accepts poetry submissions by mail. The email address firstname.lastname@example.org is for poetry submissions only (or to notify editors of acceptance elsewhere of a poem under consideration at Slate). Other inquiries, etc., will not be addressed.10000false220061444537PMWednesdayJanJanuary161/4/2006 9:45:37 PM63271989937000000020061444537PMWednesdayJanJanuary161/4/2006 9:45:37 PM632719899370000000.Clickhere to visit Robert Pinsky's Favorite Poem Project site.Click here for an archive of discussions about poems with Robert Pinsky in "the Fray," Slate's reader forum.