set fire to me

They know I shouldn't be here. They know I'm an impostor; that pyro setting fires across the night, recklessly burning the path behind. I fear they see I'm a klepto, the spoils trailing back with the flames. Where did this path begin? To what end do I travel? Do the trees have eyes and who is this other beside me, this shade of what was?

I had two liters of kerosene I stole from the hardware store. I dug a trench into a patch of earth, shaped in the letter I, filled the scar with fluid and set it alight, golden tongues licking dirt and grass. It felt good to burn, to feel anything but nothingness. I knew I must move on, and the other followed with me.

Now it becomes me. I wear it like a shadow or a cloak so all feels gray. It settles on my skin like dew condensing on cold stone at dawn. I can't shake it off no matter how I try. Something convinces me it's unwanted, collected from moments in time as a footprint is left in the sand, some sign in the soil everywhere I've been. And why they must know what I've done. It's all over me, what little choice I had.

I daydream buildings burning and bank heists, showing through the seams of everyday gray, seething just below the surface. So I set them on fire and mumble some words of regret. They must be around the corner. It follows me still. Stop following me. Constantly one hunts me and the other I try to shake loose. Never to be captured and never to be free, maybe I'm a shade too, the smoke and ash left behind by a dream of fire.

Am I asleep? Do I dream or is this a mad-self awakening? Too dangerous to work in the daytime so I only come out at night. See better in the dark, hear distant waves rolling on distant shores. Always rolling. Almost always. My thoughts too upside down and curling back, then streaming out like a run on sentence in a punctuation crazy world and I bide my time until the tide turns and there is a moment -- of pause. All goes silent. I can hear that a heart still beats in my chest. The waves begin again. Stretched along the strand are three bonfires...


Harlequin said...

the whoosh and crackle of surrounded
by it
familiar stranger
keeps the light going
and the ships off the rocks
feel it coursing
and know it is
all you need
to feel

gorgeous images and amazing haptic quality...spooky and ...quiet
thanks, Jon

the walking man said...

The(y) first word strikes a chord of rebellion. (I)t may burn but the(y)(t)heirs can no longer follow me to my fire lit end. It is mine.