by Amanda Deo

It was Victoria Day weekend when you held a sparkler to my coat. As the fire sucked on my skin I thought about how much I loved you. And how if I didn't love you, would this feel any different. And my fingers ached. I've worked my ass off at this distance and I've burned in the space you have never left me inside your elbow, inside your shoulder and bent knuckles. Some of the mouths around us are the letter “s”. Some of the mouths around us are forward-slash.

My chin is half-eaten. My chest is gone. There is a rhythm to how each flame licks me. Like how you used to in the mornings before work. Before the coffee. Before the toaster. Before a rose clenched between your teeth and dancing.

I think about how I will look when you don't love me anymore. How quiet and small. How tethered my skin will be to the ground. How you will never lay beside me with my clothes off.