the danger of surviving

When I heard the shout, the crash, the loud

My veins burst with fire and panic.

I leapt to my feet straight over the seat

Of the recliner, without bothering to close it.

I was already cycling through emergency mode,

Preparing my eyes for the blood they would see.

I was ready to reassure, to assist, to prevent


Fueled with panic-flames lapping up from my feet

Then he spoke after the cry, said, it’s okay,

I’m fine,

it was the dog that knocked something down.

I crumbled back down, my chest a vacuum

Where breath was remiss to return.

I hate that my life has been trauma so many times

But if it meant saving their lives, or protecting them in crisis

I would shoulder a thousand more panic-fires.

Though someday, I hear, they build up and the fear

Is nothing compared to the smoke.

If you’re not careful, the burning will fill up your person,

And the world will all feel the same,

And despite the extinguishers, despite the protectors,

you’ll never smell anything but flames.

Lord let me

Why, contemplation leaves me low

And bitter hearts still seek the cold.

I lose myself in time and sleep

An exhausted spirit is all I keep. 
So let me in to warm my feet

And sit awhile beside the flames. 

At once to rest and speak in peace

Forever safe in Your embrace. 
I nod my head and fire climbs high

My eyelids flicker low. 

I’m no longer out in the bitter cold —

You smile and drape over me Your coat. 

Burning free

I cannot speak for the cache of blood

Behind my throat and voice 

I cannot breathe for the hissing flood

Of death within my flesh. 
I am covered now in slate, and bitterness, and sin

I rip with ragged nails at all the ways I’m imprisoned

Ice chips, with frost, have covered all

The life I used to live. 

Please set me free with fire; I

Must bleed

Where now I petrify. 


Please, please

Don’t let them stay there!

Don’t let them writhe in agony


I don’t care what they’ve done— we’re all filthy sinners

Ragged and wretched, enraged

You clean us and mend us because we ask,

But they do not know! Do not truly understand!

How could You let them stay there, forever, bones full of twitching flame, screams wrought of iron and pain?

I am entranced with words, and

The anguish for their souls

Dies within me to a glowing cinder 

Inside the ribs which curl around my heart. 

Wreaths of smoke

Wisp away 

As the flesh burns, in pain

For souls it will never touch. 

You gave me words to fight the fear

To control the sympathy that threatens to flood my lungs and drown me

I am petrified in anguish at the thought of a single soul

Forever separated from You;

Yea, and I cannot fathom how much worse the pain is

for You, Father God.