The fire fighters stormed onto our block, extending their ladders
They ripped off the wig of your home, I wish they moved faster
Cracked open both bedroom windows, the flames reached a crescendo
My heart became a clenched fist, my eyes a wishing well
Why cant’t life be simple?

I still ask to this day
Why my little brother? He was only seven
years old

This was my first time seeing a brown baby fade to
salmon pink
I couldn’t blink, my eyes stuck
I need a shrink
I’m out of sync with the universe
I believe that my little brother’s time is up.
I wish Hemingway could specialize a clock
to set the hours back a few
Or I wish he had wings, out of the
flames he could’ve flew

The news articles declared you dead
They said your heart stopped beating
The flames melted a chunk of your head

The hospital visit was vivid
All of your beautiful hair disappeared
Smoke trapped in your chest
Paradise trapped in your eyes
Golfball size blisters covered your
face, a gruesome disguise
Your head was a red moon, a sight that
stars feared to view
But you’re in Heaven, if there is one,
so I guess it’s kind of cool

The clearest I’ve ever seen death
I regret, not loving you more
Granny was stressed, she inhaled a truck
load of cigarettes
She said it eased her pain
Chain smoking was in her daily routine
I was upset at the fact I was too young
for nicotine

The smell and sight of your scorched skin
is forever cornered in my memory bank
Making deposits when I’m
the most ill
Stuck, hunting for good will

I just wish that one more time we
could play the Nintendo
or Chicken Limbo
or throw up tackle on the concrete
I will pay to play with you one last time
God, what will it cost me?

Maybe my life
But I’m a sinner, at night
When the sun is out, I pray
Sleep with my demons at night

Therefore, I might never see you again

I never pictured a small sturdy flame
murdering a boy
Cold nights in the city
I wish your mother would’ve
scraped up more pennies
and paid her gas and electric bill

It’s funny how the day before, the sky was on fire
Our love was on fire
Now it’s you, I guess we are nature


By Kondwani Fidel


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