Inside the wood stove the smith steadies, proclaims his alliance with flame as heat quickens his hammer. And the singer, at first inaudible, fashions her rising song from seasons stored within logs of seasoned cherry, birch. I have delighted in their concert winter days and nights, rapt before doors framed in brass, their glass etched with twin wreaths. Circles that focused wonders I am about to mention: livid saints and salamanders, paraphernalia of magicians performing—with blue fluidity— their act without their masters. And always before curtain, the casket split asunder, the thief’s hand passing over unattainable gems. But now there are people in the wind; the chimney sucks them down. I hear the singer inhale a choir; voice of thousands. A purity of anguish to leave the listener breathless. The notes, the notes are inferno; the smith beats out a knell. Those ashes I spill tomorrow upon freshly fallen snow have already blown for days across the city.