You Can't Set This House On Fire

Part One:

your ego spread like a wildfire
but baby
im not fort mcmurray
I’m not a border city
run down by the young and greedy
I’m not cold winters and easy money

I’m not the hometown to good people
I’m not a community built
on heart and soul
in spite of the lude comments
of people who don’t know politics
but pretend they do
I’m not the new object of ridicule
for US republican wannabes
trapped in the vast paradise
of our free country

more than anyone else
i prayed
not for wealth, love, or beauty
but to start all over again
i wanted to wake up one day
my memories erased
i wanted to think it was all a dream
the pain
and i wanted to live another life
be a different person
who didn’t have to take
the weight
of the whole world on her shoulders every day

more than anyone else i needed
some irresponsible, stick-sucking fuck
to not give two shits about where he put out
his cigarette
i needed an ember
then a spark
on my dry, forest floor
to blow me up in my flames
so i could burst
in a thousand different places
and start over again

Part Two:

You still light a fire inside of me
Only in the beginning
I mistook arson for passion
and while these days
I move about like the wind
I am a permanent home
made of mortar
and brick
I am no longer finding spaces
to inhabit
with fear as the roof over my head
I've rebuilt this broken body and soul
that pile of rubble
from the ground up
Teflon paint
and a skylight
so I never forget where I am
That universe we called on to replace the god in our lives
has been my parachute
after you

When in order to save myself
I had to jump and abandon
the half-completed home I had built
I escaped the flames and landed softly
where I belong

You are now nothing more
than the small blue flame
in a dying lighter
Too short to light my favourite candles
Such little left inside you
from all the times you spilled your gasoline
on my bedroom floor

I was ready to toss you out
but never give you away because
I'd never wish the memory of what you did to me
on the most pitiful
self-loathing smoker

One last light
to burn away my crimes

© Mary dela Torre, 2016


Part One was written in May 2016 during the Fort McMurray fires.  Part two of this series, entitled 'You Can't Set This House On Fire', was written in October 2016 and added as an extension.