Poem #5: In a Fire

In a fire, you stand, read the air and its failing respiration,
move in all contortions forgotten from leisure. The only way
to test your reflexes, in an isolation of self; and your mind has
never boiled to this degree before. Now you know how your
mother’s burnt cookies felt, tossed prior to taste. Burning
a flavor so jealously bitter, mockingly black and sarcastic
of sweet. Oh how all around, it crumbles, like incinerated
flour overdosed with flame. Turmoil the greatest fuel
in this situation. One of many options as the catalyst:
a dream, an intention, a mistake, a crime.
The foundation depresses under its own collapsible influence,
trusses snapping like wishbones, tile and carpet bruised
with black-eyes. And you want to know the time–as if that
will quell the heat. You could look all around, everywhere, but the
blood rustic flicker hewn over the walls you painted only weeks
before belittles the “everything” you owned, shriveled below
the worth you granted it. Your furniture smoldering down to prunes.
Wondering if your eyes are sweating or your body is being sautéed,
if your body could extinguish a path, if survival is more difficult
in moments of disaster, or in peaceful existence.

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