Friday, July 02, 2010

Pyromantics by Chella Courington

the father
the boy
who twirled a baton
tipped in red
while the father
long rods of fire
snuffed out somewhere
past lips
and over tongue
hidden behind teeth
yellowed from nights
tasting sulfur
as giants and dwarfs
with floppy orange shoes
into dollhouse windows
dangling toes
between me and the boy,

who looked about nine
when I was nine I
over hot coals
from the grill by dad
who bet ten bucks
i couldn’t do it
and i said i would
if he would
and i did
and he laughed
wiping his hand across his mouth
me standing in burnt feet

and saw myself
branding his back
as skin sizzled

his fingers
tapers in a church
that i lit

First Published: Oregon East Magazine 37 (2006).
Ed. Caitlin Mack.