the heat makes the pain go away
deep on the other side of the skull
with heat it cracks open
millions of stars come outside
in between the lines
the crags and cracks
boiling off ache
the pain subsides
it doesn’t become painful to exhale
nothing deep within the nose
or as if something crawling on the back of the skull
hard to reach
no longer sensing the tremendous pressure
as if someone closed their hands on either side above the ears
eye socket feels like nothing
not like burrowing
the heat permeates deeply
and upon regaining awareness
the ache is gone
at least for a while
and it’s goid to be whole in those moments
engulfed in flame
burning is consuming
like a hot furnace
you could reach out to touch it
but you would be burned
it’s okay for you to be afraid
keep your distance
keep it to yourself
yellow bending orange
edged in blue
and yet hottest is invisible
won’t feel it til it’s too late
you remember the phoenix?
what the bird does as it flies across the sky
trail off like whispers
trail of magic dust
what’s left when fire comes through
open your eyes
and flames dance at the center
jewels that hypnotise
bring you in
before you too
are consumed by flame
It was a day when the girl was frustrated. She had been walking through the forest in the dry heat for what seemed like forever. Dried pine needles crunched under foot with every step. She was hot. She was tired. And a small voice inside her said you can rest whenever you want. Still she walked forward. Keep stepping.
At some point, she found a tree that provided a thin source of cover from the heavy sun. She listened as insects wheezed and birds chirped loudly back and forth trying to find them. She didn’t know why, but a tighteness made itself more present in her throat.
She felt upset by it. A small annoyance that seemed to fill her thoughts so that it was hard to concentrate on anything else, much less the journey ahead. And she knew that to get rid of the feeling she could just drop it at any moment and suddenly she’d be back in forward movement. Propelled, as if by some unseen force.
She stared at dust. She thought what it might look like if she had water and it was mud. She would pick it up and let it squish in her hands. Let it form. And it would feel — the texture would be soothing.
There was no water here. It was a long ways off. She was in a place she hadn’t traveled before. She only knew vaguely what to look for. She sighed.
Looking around, there was one thing that she decided. There was a certain kind of strange beauty in this place. Even if she wasn’t sure what to make of it. And even if she was uncomfortable.