Today’s theme: fire.
‘underwhelmed’ was not a word she used lightly
‘disappointed’ even less so.
still she avoided the cracks in the pavement
as if they had any consequence
as if her mother were still able to be broken.
she’d found an arsonist where she was searching for a cure
they looked like the same thing.
she’d popped the bottle carelessly
he’d let it all foam over without tasting a sip
and the premature celebration pissed on all the spark
the body had been boiled, they said
he looked just like a lobster
probably three hundred degrees in that manhole
so hot the police couldn’t get him out
nor the sewerage guys
someone made a joke about salamanders and nobody smiled
and the someone felt ashamed and slunk away again
the snow melted up in the steam from the pavement
condensed on the faces of the silent observers
holding hands and feeling sick and swearing off seafood
the woman doing the autopsy said that his insides were cooked
and his skin just rolled off sickly when she stroked it
and he lay there, steaming and smelling faintly of hot dogs
which in new york is kind of an unavoidable smell
and when the newspapers asked her if he’d suffered
she just laughed real low and wouldn’t say a word