Am I an effigy? A solid statue for you to practice attraction or affliction? Building me up with words and sweet gifts. Reasons to make me forget that the fire is coming. Filling my head with straw that I was convinced you picked just for me. Holding my hand as if you feel something when you do so. As if looking in my eyes wasn’t just a party trick for your friends. But I am still just as much to blame. I smelled the smoke, saw the flick of a flame in your windows, across your teeth, heard the crackle of the past burning.... yet I said nothing. Tried to convince myself again and again that I was not the kindling, while all the time you bathed me in gasoline. Dumped oil on my eyes to leave me in the dark. Rubbed petrol into my flesh and I smiled. Am I just your effigy? Parading me through town, demonstrating your skill to snuff out life. Sucking the souls from those who never learned how to swim. While a match stick cracks off my tongue. I suppose you never expected I would light the flame first. Never thought I would ignite the sculpture you made me. But I did. Saw the fear in your eyes as I burst into flames. Felt the tears on my face dry before touching the soil. I am an effigy, but I am no longer yours. I am a tornado of scorn, scorching the earth beneath my feet. But is this not what you wanted? Is this not the inferno you expected? Good. My flames soar a mile high, as high as the love that I offered you. Higher than the standards I met for you. So high I almost learned to forget you. But I am still a burning effigy. I will still burn out until ash. But by the time the dust settles, the damage is done. So don’t be surprised when you get burned.