A Northwest Based Literary Journal

Fire as Fragment

by Callista Buchen and Amy Ash

read as pdf

energy, fervor, blaze, glare
shard, sliver, portion, break

what jumps the line, ignores the trench

the snap and crack of sticks

like snow, like celebration, ash falling in your hair

our hair is kindling, crown of flame

we want the heat, our hands blister and peel

a young girl crawling on hands and knees

and all the glass shatters

that won’t change and screens repeat

a gold mirror in the hallway and a glance behind

what to take with you, to leave—

the darkened wallpaper bulges and curls

the flowered couch still smoldering on the lawn

a towel draped over her head like a veil

no one has the time anymore

the keys of a piano, charred and quiet

we are covered in scars the skin torn and fused

a record and the rings left in the surviving trees

broken and bruised

crackle and run, a lick here, another lap

a family, standing in the driveway, backlit by flames

we want to watch. we want to watch


Amy Ash is an assistant professor at Indiana State University. She is the author of the poetry collection The Open Mouth of the Vase (2015). Callista Buchen is an assistant professor at Franklin College. She is the author of the chapbooks The Bloody Planet (Black Lawrence Press, October 2015) and Double-Mouthed (dancing girl press, forthcoming 2016). Their collaborative poetry has appeared in Heron Tree, Spiral Orb, Stone Highway Review, and BOOAT. They have also led collaborative writing workshops and presented on collaboration at various conferences, including the Steel Pen Writers’ Conference and Winter Wheat.

%d bloggers like this: