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By francine j. harris

She wants to set the house on fire,

gas in both hands, gas on the wall.


It’d be like the sea torched from its floor. She’d run like light


from basement windows. or maybe

suck all arms to room ablaze, so housed


in gut piping. the copper hollowed, reaching to a

heated black rot at bottom. Like ants; maybe she crawl in the dark.


low on the belly maybe she thug out late, lay low

and ink eight walls. lay low like cold, she might


strip bare, black glass. sometimes strut, sometimes

hide late. she runs from house to ember,


a sum of sink. She breathes through flame

a room of spoons. one


bar brick, one black-eyed room splatter, one torch

spent for each arm, from coal to alley, she heaves


hue of concrete into each limb. A house of blue-ring flames

to mimic; someone better run.


Source: Poetry (February 2016)

Poet Bio

francine j. harris is originally from Detroit, Michigan, where she grew up in one of many neighborhoods operating in economic limbo in the aftermath of the motor industry collapse. After high school, harris moved to Arizona and attended several community colleges part-time before earning scholarship to attend Arizona State University, where she earned a BA in English. harris spent the next several years working with grassroots organizing projects for community radio, social justice, and queer performing arts, while facilitating poetry workshops for young people and practicing visual art. harris has taught creative writing at University of Michigan and Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, and she is currently writer in residence at Washington University in St. Louis.

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