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  • Writer's pictureNoah Ashley

December 27, 2019

I vow to see the fire and run

I vow to not romanticize the fire

to be so desperate for warmth

I play in the heart of it and call

the skin graphs lessons

I vow to never kick it wit fire 

and admire the few properties 

i believe we have in common 

to watch the fire engulf 

an entire house and think wow,

we must be similar 

i am no mother of dragons

insert overused mythological creature here

Jean Grey is only koo in comic books 

and still we only champion her 

when she’s literally destroying 

everything around her

and isn’t that the sickest shit?

to feel so powerless

the only way you can imagine 

being powerful is if someone 

you love has to kill you?

All this to say, i am Joshua.

Joshua is all i have. And Joshua’s 

been told since he was a child 

reaching for the stove’s eye 

that fire is hot.

And Joshua grew up confused 

being told to put his head 

in the freezer if he 

wanted fresh air.

And when Joshua went outside

everything felt so forriegn and familiar

and he’s been searching 

for comfort ever since.

But what is an affirmation 

that makes you blister?

How cold and chapped

must you be to take 

gasoline as cocoa butter?

The fire says i love you,

Meaning, the better to cook you with

I say i love you too, meaning

I want all the smoke

and Joshua is choking now,

sniffs around around asking

you smell that?

and the fire says don’t trip,

you’ve clearly never loved before,

don’t understand the purity of this

and maybe the fire is right.

To fire this is normal - a black body 

blackened until it is grey, 

scattered with the wind

and haven't we all always loved this

something to commune about

an event to gather for 

sit in a circle at night for, 

snacks in hand, a reason

to drop our chores when bored

and feel better about our own lives,

bearing witness to the haunting

of the next urban legend.

Pure indeed. 

But what the fire calls 

normal i call 


So i vow to see 

the fire and run

to a lake, 

to a beach, 

to a river

for i fear one day a loved one 

will reach for me and they’ll burn 

or their hand will pull away 

holding nothing. 

Nothing but ash.

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