Home > Poetry > How a Firestarter Loves a Junkyard Dog

How a Firestarter Loves a Junkyard Dog


The first mistake is this:
you think you want simplicity
instead of everything. Slowly,
you let should convince you
that some lies are true; worse yet,
that they are worthy of worship.
You become your obligations,
instead of your expectations.
This will you kill you, eventually,
if you allow it.

Your second mistake is this:
you forget how to fight,
you forget how to fight for yourself.
You begin to lean away
from every flame ¬ even one
that might thaw
the winter in your stomach,
the heaving heart of ice
that you let keep you,
a bit of smoke
instead of a blaze.
You become starlight reflected
in the ocean – instead of the stars
and instead of the ocean, itself.
This will break you, eventually,
if you allow it.

Your third mistake is this:
you leave your bravery on the inside,
click-clacking like a broken rib;
you leave magic outside the door,
like shoes to be shined; only,
there is no polish for famished
hope. It will eat you alive
if you let it – and if you let it kill you,
that is how you remember
how to live.

You must remember your heart
enough to lose it for the right reasons.
You must forget every bit of
polite and reasonable left in your bones.
You must conjure up the exhilarating colors
of love that blossoms like a bruise.
Everything hurts eventually,
but only if you’re brave enough
to make the right mistakes,
not just the easy ones.

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