Girl on Fire

i

My girlchild mind, soft and dry
Kindling for phobias, 
Flames, putting me out of
My head, eaten alive 
Behind water eyes, sick
With flammability
Fairy lights, Christmas trees
Dying in my sleep
I hid in wardrobes, ran away from
Birthday candles, smoke and
Mirrors, glitter hairspray
My princess tresses, uncut
Straw gold, penance 
Lank and limp tinder
Hell flames, Father
I have sinned but
I don't know what that means, yet
Still I suffered, all air and water
"Daughter found in armoire"
Charred bone
Children, educational videos
Second degree scarring

ii

Me? Now I hold lighters
To my palms, make moulds
Of my sun line, heart line
In candle wax, fingerprints
Dental records
High-spirited, ashen faced
I covet cigarettes, drinking 
Molotov cocktails, threw 
My homework onto the bonfire
Sat too close, my tears all smoke
Red-faced pyrophobe, facing
My fears like the sun, my skin
A poppy field, 
Sunblushed and charcoal-eyed
Tea party welts on my wrists
To warm my heart, cheap nightdresses
"Keep away from naked flames"
I feel myself going up, ungrounded
Itching to be ablaze
Scab and blister, burn and peel
I pick away at myself and scatter,
Cinders to the wind

The End

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