"After a period of time they'll dry out, and then the phosphorous will contact the air and start burning again," said Detective Howard Greer of the Oregon State Police. "If people are near these things when they start burning again, you can get some very, very serious burns."
“That's why you're safe from me,” you said.
As if any of us could ever be safe from each other:
we are like those tubes of white phosphorus
that wash up on the beach, submarine markers:
it's all a matter of when we touch the air.
May this hand be full of light
may this heart be tipped in the morning sun
may the bowl of my skull be scraped
a vessel for morning oatmeal
for slanted light
for two hunched crows on a maple limb,
waiting for kibbles and a kind word.
Kartika and kapala
(skin flail and skull cup)
in the bathroom cabinet with the toothbrush
and the razor: maybe the jumbling
becomes richer with age.