Morning air caresses her skin,
Brushes the shoulders,
Tugs the curls.
Breezy twin kisses become flint stones
That slide and strike, slowly at first.

Quicker, harsher now
To build the barrier she never had before
But that grew—step by step,
Flicker by flicker—until she couldn’t see herself

A heartbeat there, a gasp here.
Bodily functions blending together
To breath fire into life.
His hands forming a necklace,
An ornament that only succeeds in cutting

Tighten the muscles so you
Won’t break.
Fuel the pain so it
Won’t bite.
Torture the body so the heart
Stays chaste.

Her fire is catching.
It might raze the house,
But the charred remains
Will be pure.

If it doesn’t all burn.


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