the keeper of the hearth must know when to snuff it out
“one morning, this sadness will fossilize / and i will forget to cry.” -mitski, fireworks
at night, the last tear cauterizes my tendons
like burning coal and i whisper an apology
to prometheus as the bushfires extinguish.
dried blood coagulates behind my gums
like candied tangerines and rock sugar.
the museum is open for exhibit and
my ribcage is on display; trace the wandering eyes
wreathing fireworks like weeping chrysanthemums.
a voice of rushing water: "here, we see an enlarged heart.
notice the atria dilating, two pupils clutching onto
the memory of love."
at night, the stars waltz and step on my toes.
i breathe in bathroom tile dust and see my mother
smiling in shattered mirrors. watering the petals
of an orchid woven from my eyebags.
houseplants shrivel in cobwebbed cupboards
yet their burned palms still reach for the sun;
why do i keep reaching? (because forgetting leaves no second chances.)
exhaling only relocates the guilt,
pushes edema from bronchi to stomach
so i can breathe easier.
entropy nestles between the bones,
makes a home in the emptiness.
(i shrug off my skin and let it rest there.)
this time, i allow equilibrium to stagnate in my veins.
and i do not light the matches.