"Tell me that girl is not a song of burning." (a poem for you)

I think it is common knowledge by now that I am infinitely fascinated by love in all of its forms. I am, so to speak, romantic connoisseur: I cannot help but chase that scattered, sparkling notion, no matter how far it may draw me into its depths. And so, here is a poem about a love gone wrong—or perhaps, gone horribly right, depending on how one looks at it.

This was written during my stint at the University of Virginia's Young Writers' Workshop this summer, and originally published in the inaugural issue of TRACK // FOURthe gorgeous journal for writers of colour run by my dear friend Kathryn Hargett. What an honour to be included amongst so many other lovely writers & their exceptional, gutwrenching work.

My doves, please do let me know your opinions, your interpretations, your critiques, your wonderings, in the comments section. If you enjoy this piece, more poems & soft, beautiful words are sent exclusively to my love letter list.

I cannot wait to hear your thoughts. xx


Infernal / Inferno

How great this is, to love a girl into burning.
That is to say, I’ve seen wildfires commit suicide

when she comes near. I can never find her hands
but still I know her fingertips are matchsticks.

I’m sorry, but my smoky lifespan doubles
every time she sighs in my direction. That is to say,

I’m not sorry at all.
Look at her. Tell me that girl is not a song of burning.

Look at her and tell me her eyes are not a housefire
waiting to happen.

A candle will surrender its oxygen if only she stands
close enough. Trust me, I would know.

That is to say, no matter how many tsunamis I swallow,
I will never forget her lips charred on skin.

In some other room, the smoke rising.
In some other life, a fire that knows to burn itself out.

That is to say, my body would dissolve in ashes
if only to meet hers in the future tense.

I love her in the way a frightened deer will lock its knees
and not move again. Even if that means burning alive.