Tucked into my folded tongue,
The Devil laughs and whistles:
But when this little song is sung,
He cowers, cries, and bristles.
His nose is long, his scalp is white,
His skull is yellowed, soft;
He grabs my soul and tritely bites,
But soon I cast him off:
For when this melody is heard,
Satan runs and hides:
My pain is swallowed unperturbed,
And Lucifer I chide.
She was rather proud of her self-ascribed inventiveness in the rhyming and the deceptively (as she believed) simple structure of the incantation, the tune of the lyric call a blade at the throat of her constant self-pity and despairing staring into the white-painted depths of her bedroom’s twelve corners—(she had designed the architecture of the particular chamber herself when the domicile was first constructed, erected brusquely by her father, the skin of his dirtied hands brisk with the cool mosquitoes of morning dew and fog; but she was now entirely dejected in regards to her view of the room’s aesthetics, as well as those of the remainder of her home: she wished the structure destroyed). A small tin of gasoline had walked quietly, on its toes, into this bedroom three days past, under the nose of her husband, who was lying dead in their marriage-bed (not yet decayed, but sleeping soundlessly—eternally—in the light slumber of death which develops after a triad of unbreathing sunsets); she now slept on the couch of the living room (and indeed the only divan in the house), where a box of matches had been lodged between the rightmost cushion and the hardwood sidepanel adjacent to the sitting-pillow. The woman planned to unite the two separately-disparate elements when, as she had repeatedly muttered to herself, “the Time was fitting”; the reason for her secretiveness in regards to the destruction of a building she alone inhabited (and indeed never left, groceries delivered to the statuesque, thin structure’s porch), was unknown even to herself.
But this lack of reasoned justification of personal, destructive enacting of will only fortified her desire to immolate her lodgings, effectively rendering herself without corpse of marriage or abode, the sole two possessions within her veritable grasp of ownership; the woman eventually came to toy, briefly, with the possibility of her wishing to liberate herself, as it were, from the supposed confines of material possession (and thus reinforcement or validation of tangible existence), but soon discarded this theoretical donation of evidence: the flame was embraced without purpose, without plan or wholly-devoted thought. The mind of the arsonist was nearly constantly engulfed within its own fires of multiplicity of semifocus and aim, so that her eyes became cameras incorrectly lensed and pointed squarely at a blank wall, the antithesis of a captivating heroine—but such is the necessary prerequisite for the condoning of violence: the half-blindness of seemingly-possessed mind.
All was prepared—the materials gathered—the air still, predictably, as its generality of quotidian rest (ontologic and heard, observed) was vested in such a conception of aesthetic;—even the birds in the solitary tree which stood near the woman’s house had been silenced by the breath of colorless morning (their home the only sprout with the bravery to withstand the gales of hale dripped violently from her “Higher Being’s”—to use a term of her own invention and common utilization—proverbial nostrils, the Person being bequeathed with the slight, tolerable hell of a persistent, never-quite-departed cold); —the matches were retrieved, the gasoline spilt, the entirety of the petty operation spit like a misplaced slab of lard from the steak-chewing mouth of an otherwise well-mannered diner. And yet one detail of the execution was not successfully made manifest: that is, the seventh word of the former component of the sentence was given a newfound duplicity of meaning: the woman’s dress had been caught on a small nail within the bedroom her felicitous corpse still lay in, the flame-spewing fumes gushing from his mouth like the exhalations of one rejuvenated by plague, as she attempted to flee the scene of her peculiar crime. And before she was able to perform the undeniably simple and untrying operation of the excision of her bondage, the clear liquid—tattooed by the light of the rapidly leaping, giggling fire—had crept to her unfortunately flammable garment, and she was blandly and basically consumed by the ever-lilting, quickly expanding blaze.