The Forest Fire By Chelsea Fujimoto

The Forest Fire

The sky is a gentle shade of lavender tonight,
the kind you would have loved a year ago, the kind
that would have lulled you to dreaming on your ocean-carved
overhang; but tonight, the waves are pounding your shore,
and “gentle” strikes the wrong chord, reminds you
of the way he described your thighs and the soft curve
of your mouth, that’s since hardened like a walnut
in the shell, like the way your untried knuckles broke
across his jaw to a tide of “bitch” and a chorus
of “you’ll pay for that, whore,” words that dried to nothing,
like the trickle of red from the corner of his mouth
to the back of your palm. Tonight, the ocean beats
his swollen plum face behind your closed eyelids, and tonight
you can’t sleep for the waves, singing
his “baby come on’s” and “don’t you want me’s” disguised
as “I love you’s; but tonight, the orange glow of Venus
skirts the horizon, like she rose to see you home
on the night he learned that love is not possession,
and that “no” does not mean “convince me”.
Tonight reminds you of the nights he kept you awake,
the days he set fires to ravage your holy branches,
and the dawns you thought would never come; but tonight
the ocean pounds to the war beat of your heart,
and like your California redwoods
scarred by careless campfires, so too,
will your razed bones bloom precious flowers
to plant your seeds anew.

By Chelsea Fujimoto


Chelsea Fujimoto is a Massachusetts-based fiction writer and veterinary student with a penchant for poetic prose and slam poetry. She graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in Biology from Skidmore College, and will be attending veterinary school in London. Her writing is inspired by the works of Neil Gaiman, Mary Oliver, Jacqueline Carey, and the Beat poets. She maintains a personal blog, Nubes de la Mente (Clouds of Thought): <>  She can be contacted via email at <>

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