I Grin

The writhing flame inside my skull
Blackens me from within—
But still I grin.

The heated smoke pours out my eyes,
Curls my shriveling skin—
And still I grin.

The scent of my burnt flesh ascends,
Dark perfume on the wind—
Through all, I grin.

When the flame’s at last extinguished,
Dawn finds my face caved in—
Still, I will grin.

James Colton

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