The Goddamn Fire

Michelle Whittaker

is gnawing at a charred frame
     and Where the hell were the beleaguers’ waters
or the gods in timely rain dance?  Where are these men
     of fire who can stint-quick with grace?  The child is inside
harping on a window with a hot flashback
     like unforsaken, scorch turn, still turning—
but my skin did not move through any spectrums.
     Not like the one housed in real heat,
the one they called names at the bus stop
     but that stopped because Margie’s house stopped then Margie stopped.
The color of butter-wash gone into flakes,
     not even like a dough in an oven, forgotten.
Do you understand gone goddamnit into the floor’s flooring?

Michelle Whittaker
Michelle Whittaker

Michelle Whittaker is a pianist, teacher, co-founder of Parrhesia Poetry Society and is Liberal Arts Chair for Patchogue Arts Council. Her poems have recently appeared in The Southampton Review, and Long Island Quarterly. She received the 2009 Jody Donohue Poetry Prize and a Pushcart Prize honorable mention. Currently, she is finishing her MFA at Stony Brook University.