They Set Fires
They were a couple, walking down East Broadway
And I couldn’t help but overhear:
“You don’t love me,” she says,
but there’s no heat in it.
“These people, they set fires!
Can you imagine if they got married?
The whole town would be burning.”
And that’s how I love you, sweetling:
Fire, burning, and a red hot torch
And our bodies scorched and twisting,
writhing in the flame.
When I say your name,
twin tongues of fire hiss it in my mouth.
I am a candle, burning at both ends
When you take my hands,
grasping at them, gasping in them
It’s a conflagration,
an exclamation point to end the story
Not a period, not a finale
cause even embers burn.
When we’ve had our turn,
why, we’ll just start again:
throw more wood on the fire,
let the flames leap to the sky
higher, higher than we can fly
I love my marshmallows
charcoal black, the skin
paper thin, and the insides
gooey, melting on my lips
I’m an incense stick,
on an altar, praying
with wisps of smoke,
rising from me, swaying
Until my head is wreathed in smoke
And my hair is sizzling
and burning to the roots,
simplifying to the scalp,
and when that happens, there’s no help
now is there?
cause ‘love’ isn’t a word, any longer
It’s been burnt away,
and all that’s left is the sting of lips
And the burst of flame
and the clash of hips, until the rain
comes down in torrents,
floods the fire,
and we’re steam and ash and we’re rising higher
And we vanish
and we’re scattered
and we stop.
I love you well
I love you mad
I love you chill, like hoarfrost
I love you sweet
I love you mad
I love you blue, like drowning
We are lunatics
We are moonstruck
We drink love like chocolate martinis
And quench our fires in cool sheets
that might as well be silk
When I kiss you,
I taste ice in your saliva
Don’t tell me there’s no passion in coldness
Don’t tell me that ice cannot burn
’cause I know better.
I tear icicles off rooftops
suck them between my lips
burning cold melting warmly
into steel-tipped drops of snowmelt
I love you, I love you, I love you
I am a wellspring of words
I am an outpouring
There is no thirst in you I cannot quench
I can drink the pools
of your eyes
You are a fountain when I grasp you
slipping slick through my hands
Pouring through me
like dams breaking.
We wear love like a wet wind,
hanging heavy, hot on clotheslines
And pooling, salty sea-like
into sweat between shoulderblades, skin flushed
We tongue the first snowflake
taste its imprint of the heavens
I love you,
You are the deep black waters
and the ice, shattering
steel breaking when spring comes,
untouchable as rain.
Be well, darlings!