I remember fire

I remember fire

Liquid smoke in towers boiling black and flames

Yellow, orange, red

That licked the window panes


I remember a man and a woman

Stumbling, shouting, screaming and wild

And I watch, passive

Don’t know what it means

I’m just a child


She screams for her babies

He tries, tries to get in at that window

His hair crinkles, singes,

But the flames won’t let him through

He tries and tries

I think he’ll burn himself

He does not care


I’m dragged from my window

Hustled into blankets

Carried out

Wait in the street where crowds appear

With sleepy eyes and slippered feet

To stare

As a woman makes a leap

From a window three floors up

Into a giant trampoline.


I see a man’s hands melt

Like cooked meat

No blood drips

Just clear stuff where his skin slides

He holds them in front of him

He does not care


Later, there’s only smoke and dripping water

Running rivers over black-stained walls


An angry fireman tells my parents:

“Get those children in.”

I’m a kid.

Not stupid

I know it means they want to bring out bodies

Two small bodies of those kids that died.


The kids the woman screamed for

The kids the man fought fire for

The kids that played with matches

The kids that were four and two

The kids much littler than me

The kids I saw play on the front step

When I came home from school.

The End

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