when i was young
i tasted a fire i didn't want
his mouth sent gray, billowy smoke into my lungs
and it's been hard to catch my breath ever since.
i study my irises in the mirror
i think about how fire struggles for oxygen the way that i do
there are only two states - suffocating, or smoldering
somewhere along the way, i chose smoldering
i only want you to see me the way that i see me:
incinerating at a rate that i am barely able to temper
i want you drawn to my warmth so badly
that you are willing to destroy us both
a man at the bar follows me out for a cigarette
and asks me for a light
he wants to say more,
but i accidentally burn his finger
it's not what he wants,
but i think it's what he expects
an exotic accident
at least now
he's familiar with the desire for contact
even if it leaves a nasty scar
imagine living there
you know how you are drawn
to the blaze of flames?
how the glow of a bonfire dilates your pupils
just like lust?
i am a raging wildfire, and i will burn you too.
Mela Blust is a trauma survivor, and a mother. Since seeking publication, Mela's work has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and Best Of The Net, and has appeared or is forthcoming in The Bitter Oleander, Rust+Moth, The Nassau Review, The Sierra Nevada Review, South Florida Poetry Journal, Collective Unrest, and many more. Her debut poetry collection, Skeleton Parade, is available with Apep Publications and her second collection, They Found a Woman’s Body, is available with Vegetarian Alcoholic Press. She is a contributing editor for Barren Magazine, and can be followed at https://twitter.com/melablust.