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Back You are here: Home Stories Words for the People Poetry February 2011: Bleeding Hearts My On Fire Girl
Monday, 31 January 2011 18:46

My On Fire Girl

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My lady's story is one of desolation.

Everything turned to pyre. The kiss of her skin, the song of her lungs, the life she bled all caught in flames from the same fount.

She had a name but not the one I called her.

Her blood was the ocean of fire and her skin the smoke and steam.

Too young to care, she scorched her name on my skin seven layers deeper. Old enough to know better, she drew me in the sky. Each drop of blood, a patient star. Each heartbeat, a pulsing nebula birthing suns. Her heart of a thousand supernovas sustaining the body forged for me.

I watched you from the sky since before your birth, she says. I have watched you grow and burn brighter than any of sister Sun's children, and I longed for you, waited for you to look heavenward and see me dancing, singing, glimmering for you.

Never touching, only loving. Her sulphuric breath, inferno eyes, to touch, to melt, to breathe in her, even if never again. I say her name and she says mine, bound by nothing but desire and fire. My heart cremating from only the thought.

Her burning skin and smoking heart fill the air. An aberration, the space between vibrates and the temperature soars.

I tell her to kiss me.

We can't, she says.

Your touch is enough.

A thousand suns too much.

And like that she stays away but watches close. An ember in the darkness, aglow for me no matter how far we cannot go. For a lifetime I've begged for her lips, for her tongue, only for forests to burn and houses to melt. Together since we cannot remember, her body always on the otherside of a barrier. I put my hand flat against it and so does she, the burn of her skin seeps through and into, boiling my blood and melting my veins apart.

On fire from the inside, her skin contains her light. The holocaust heart torching every atom and converting her to ash from the inside.

Every night she burns alive and every morning phoenixed anew. Her instant heart, forever young, the hairline of light and night, death and life.

My On Fire Girl.

Touch me please, I whisper and she simmers.

The skin melting from her, bubbled from the smoke rising from the cindered veins until it embers and leaves the pile of ash beside me.

The only moments we can touch. The only moments I feel alone. No matter how I rub the soot and ash into my skin, wash my face in what she once was, she returns whole, elusive incandescent love burning a hole.

Don't try to touch, she says, inferno irises shining through her eyelids.

She tells me that I am a pale purple light flickering forever just beyond her fingertips. A taste she has longed eternally for but never able to touch.

Then take me, I say.

She says perfection exists best as itself, when you try to control or create or possess beauty, it rots and fades, rather than ignites.

I don't want to consume you, she says. I won't. Can't.

There are days when I wait for her to give in and convert my life so that I may join her eternal flame. I tell her I will tie myself to her pyre and remain always within her, that I won't burn up and fade like all the rest, but burn with her forever.

There never was another, she says, the tears melting her cheek to blistered bone.

Afraid my touch will leave her without me, she flies far away to live amongst her sister stars.

I love you, my On Fire Girl.

Her tears incinerate the earth at my feet and she turns, promising to never look back, but returns every night to smolder in my bed beside me. Awakening to the sweet sulphuric haze, she scalds her blown kisses into the wall and traces my name on her new skin.

A tattoo to always remind me of you, she says and flashes past the unborn dawn.

My On Fire Girl.

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edward j rathke

Getting foppish since '96.

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