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How to Unburn a Candle

By Amanda Sun

Art by Kaitlyn Anderson

How to unburn a candle.

When a candle drips,



my table I try to give the wax back to itself.

Butter yellow puddles solidify fingerprints onto my fingertips as they attempt

slip melted wax back onto a wick.

It’s a bit too late as

The wick is no longer a wick it’s

CO2 H2O heat and light and I try to think of lightness in the air I breathe

The light needs darkness in order to be called light

and where is a light of friendship when you run out of wick?

Carbon sequestration is a hot topic:

Basalt rocks that grind into powder drink CO2 from the sky.

I ask basalt: can you return the water, heat, and light to a candle?

The energy in light photons running into one another

can these be corralled into a braid of white cotton dipped in yellow beeswax?

I don’t need a scientist to tell me no, not yet.

She won’t return to consciousness yet.

What do I do with this gap between now and discovery?

I can never return my candle to itself.

When down to a waxy stub, the sides rise up

beeswax unburnt but one side is more than it’s uneven and I did not know a candle would leave a gap

I did not know a burning candle could leave a gap inside of me.


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