when the kerosene ignitesMature

When the kerosene ignites
for the first time, your skin crackles
and pops like coal embers sparking
and you think to yourself
about the nature of being alive
and what it would feel like
to be eternal and always

but the thoughts are short lived
because you realize the fire started
in her bedroom and the door is locked -
you know this without needing
to clamp your trembling fingers around the scalding knob,
but you do it anyway, again and again -
and you’re screaming but the smoke is everywhere
and you know it’s poisoning you from the inside
and all you can do is let go of the knob

because this is what she wanted,
it was always what she wanted and you can
tie her up the basement while you lock away
all the knives and you can pull her out of the water
and pound on her chest and you can call the ambulance
when you see the missing pills
but the truth is
you can’t take it out of her,

not with all the tears and the words and the
heartfelt pleadings, not without a scalpel and 
a Finochietto retractor and a skilled surgeon that knows
what the deterioration of a heart looks like
and how to cut out the bad pieces without
damaging the rest.

The End

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