Lawrence of Arabia

A candle flickered amber
A solemn face illuminated,
Etched in the wrinkles
Of worry and pain.
Lawrence of Arabia
Observed a unique practice.
Whenever he extinguished a candle
He did so by squeezing
The live flame between his fingers.
When asked what was his trick
He replied, “The trick
Is not minding that it hurts.”
Poor bastard.
A thumb and a finger,
Scarred and calloused,
Closed on the flame.
Darkness, a hiss
And the acrid odor
Of burning flesh.
My trick is
I cannot feel pain.


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