“Firelighters” – Poetry by CL Bledsoe

The Flame (Goddess of Fire) - Odilon Redon, 1896
The Flame (Goddess of Fire) – Odilon Redon, 1896

The haunting yet humorous “Firelighters” is one of 5 fantastic poems by CL Bledsoe in our sultry Summer 2015 issue.

{ X }

I’VE BEEN SAVING THIS STASH OF GASOLINE for a girl
with a lighter like yours. Delilah, let’s burn
the night down and root out the monsters.
Their fur will singe so pungently. The crackle
of flames will engulf the sounds of their incessant
talking, talking, talking. Nobody has to get hurt,
they just have to shut up and get out of our way.

I should’ve lit it myself, years ago, but I thought
there might be something worthwhile in hiding,
watching the moon, whatever it is I’ve been doing
all these years. There may well be, but not for me.
Delilah, let’s hold hands while we lob grenades
into the windows of decadence. Afterwards,
we’ll roast s’mores over the coals and tell stories

about the times we died, our mothers died,
our fathers died, everyone we’ve ever loved,
died. One thing: monsters don’t burn as bright
as the stories say. I’ll bring a flashlight.
I’ve thought this through. You can trust me.

{ X }

HeadshotCL BLEDSOE is the author of a dozen books, most recently the poetry collection Riceland and the novel Man of Clay. He lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.

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