Today's poem is by Erica Wright

Spontaneous Human Combustion

You can't mask the scent of sulfur
once it sets in the upholstery.

That's as far as we've come in understanding.
Someone was here, and now he's not.

Sometimes your insides want to become
your outsides, and you have to tell them "No."

I remember chaud, but have forgotten
the French for cold, the sensation

of needing to burrow, of nosing dirt aside
to bury myself in the basement's crawlspace.

There's a sound like swing-set chains
unwinding. Not like the time I snipped

my ring finger while maneuvering scissors.
Blood pooled, and there was no way

to test for tetanus. The great chasm of years
since inoculation weighed on me. Lockjaw:

as if a key went missing along with the ability
to tell someone, "Look out!

The sky hasn't looked friendly for days."
I do not like to argue, even with people I love,

but there's only accident out there in the flatlands,
bright as any phenomena, cruel as any store-bought pyre.

Copyright © 2014 Erica Wright All rights reserved
from Gulf Coast
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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