Hide The Matches By Paola Bennet

Hide The Matches

I am remembering years of flame,
when mine were fuse-lit veins
and firecracker heart,
with a beat that lit up the sky.
My sister spoke softer than me then;
we had lemon in our hair, our teeth,
breathing sharp hot summertime.

Up north, you learn young
how to start a fire,
we don’t hide the matches.
And what to learn? I had sulfur
steeped under my skin, waiting
for the strike.

No more.

I’m winter-whittled ribs,
can’t feel past river-blue wrists.
I know she’s in here, somewhere,
the me of red phosphorus
waiting to ignite.

I leave without a coat,
and Mama says, it’s January,
how can you dress like July?

I take a scarf to humor her,
ask in return,

When did I stop blazing
and start burning alive?

By Paola Bennet


Paola Bennet’s heart and tongue are split between New England and France, and she is in a constant lovers’ quarrel with New York. Between bouts of black-notebook coffeeshop scribblings, she is finishing a degree in Storytelling, preparing for her third musical release, and working on a collection of modern poetic retellings of Greek myth. You can delve deeper into her writing at caelumverse.tumblr.com.

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