they kept the candle. a fire for days. endless days. anointed themselves with the oils. liquid wax. upon their eyelids. rose lips. their palms. when the rain came they hovered over the flame which was burning blue. when the night black light came they would gaze upon the flame for fear of losing their sight. they tended to the wick. kept the glass cleansed. when the sun rose the flame rested. burning still. when twilight followed they whispered their thanks to the flame. extinguished the candle. as the darkness hovered. they inhaled. consumed the flames rising cloud of smoke.