Can you smell the smoke?
like the smell of summer nights we can barely remember,
sitting in circles around a glowing red light.
Do you hear the distant crackle?
Like the Rice Krispies I forgot to eat or maybe chose to forget?
Like the lighting of a match,
the striking crunch and snap to ignite a candle
while we watch the wax melt away trying to forget our pasts.
Do you feel the growing heat like the opening of an oven
to reveal a birthday cake or the radiating sear of a crematorium?
I can see it now, creeping over the hills like a lion stalking its prey.
I am the prey.
A helpless hemlock in a forest of regrets.
But not the kind that will kill you,
though I’ve been told we taste the same.
I was destined for this,
perfect fuel for the flame,
but what if I changed my mind?
is it already too late?
You should go now before the flames catch you too.
They are already licking their lips in anticipation,
glowing in a false sense of security getting ever closer.
You can’t save me this time,
this is my fate to bear,
you are merely another lonely soul who wandered too far from home,
lured by the hope of fruit I can not bear.
This is not your forest,
this is not your fire,
you did not force me here.
I have been running all my life and it’s time to take root.
and watch me burn.