Great Fire

by Emma White

i impose.
this ancient dance is one acted to drums reflective of heartbeats,
the sound of thumps on cobbles,
screaming horses in the night.
i lie in the hands of those who spun sugar to smoke;
from the tips of my teeth let pour sweet scorchings.
like Midas, i breed tragedies with each golden lick of the tongue.

fingers of hissing grey seduce the senses
and you’d think it thick enough to mask the smell of fear,
but that stench is one thousand times more striking.

listen now!
for the beating of frantic wings taking flight;
scattered thoughts seeking solace;
human cries amongst the masses
that have been graced with this holy purifier.

and even amongst the heaving crowds
and when you are drowning in the rabble,
i still have a way
of making you believe you are lonely.

and the posies exhale to ashes
and the sky is on fire

this is the word of the lord.