by Darren Colbourne
I knew a girl who was fire
Back when my head swirled with hot air;
The kind I wanted to smother with words
Until she flickered pathetically,
An ashen echo on a handwritten page,
Like a shadow promising the unseen sun.
Maybe I just envied her spark
Because I always needed to be set off;
A writer turned saboteur desperately toiling
To build a fuse into the world
So that when my mania finally broke
I’d have something tangible to light.
And so I sweated in the mines of her spirit
Capturing all the heat but no flame
Before the walls caved in around me.
That sounds painfully grand, though
I guess all youth’s petty disasters do, before
They fall forgotten, brushed aside
And departed from, future days spent
Exchanging fuses through hearts
For ties around necks,
Venting the wastes and pollution so long trapped;
Only in that clarity did I stumble upon the spark she left inside.
Nights fall over quiet avenues now as I stand
Holding onto that gift and not quite feeling alone;
Passing, fleeting moments
When I want nothing more
Than to throw a switch and watch the city die;
A million blinding eyes blinking shut
So that when we hand darkness back to the night
Our breath may curl upwards
And shatter the sky like black ice;
Cracks of distant fire, piercing specks of life.
I don’t know if she’s fire anymore
But then maybe it’s not fire I need.