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)

What People are Saying

"I was surprised how attached I got to my poems. I've had "Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg" memorized since my sophomore year, and whenever I get nervous or anxious about something I recite it to myself. "
Sarah Calvin-Stupfel
2018 OR POL Champ