Arrhythmia of the happy home ending in ‘68
with Jan Palach, who self-ignited in Wencelas
Square, then stumbled down the Soviet steps.
He was 21, at the time. Did it hurt, the fire?
My mind was protesting the second occupation of
my mother: my body, being eaten alive by flames.
The Czechs clutched the mortal wound of actual
sacrifice to their chests, eating goulash listlessly.
What do you remember? Before the singular
death, the pact of suicide, smashed. Do you
regret your life? Do you dream? Runoff of lava,
entire cities, razed. Did the fire hurt? Like hell.
What is the purpose of life? To obey fate, like
the autumn leaves, which, before falling, burn.