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)
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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