I saw a boy on fire today.

It

surprised

me.

I couldn't look away from him

with his skin

so blackened and shriveled

till it stretched

tight

across his brutal cheekbones;

His teeth

so awe-somely white

where his lips had been

burned

away,

leaving behind

a never-ending grin.

His hair was gone,

and bright, wicked

flames were shooting from his

every pore,

turning him into

a

Pyro-Sapien.

I leaned over

to touch his shoulder,

to brush off the ashes there,

leaving symmetrical

cigarette burns on his

too-huge white shirt.

And then, the fire

was gone.

He was still thin,

still bald, but

his mouth was flattened

to a wounded sneer,

his shirt clear of

little black holes.

I pulled my hand

back quickly

and the bell pierced

the smoke around me.

I followed him,

just to see if

it would happen again.

But,

during lunch,

when I looked out the

big, fogged windows leading

to the tiny courtyard

with the gum-covered stone benches,

I saw him slouching

there.

He

had a lighter

in one dark, long-fingered hand

and he was just

flicking the cap

UP & down

over and over

letting the miniature spark inside

light his dim eyes with

something more than

insolent rebellion.

He brought the flame

close to his lips, and

swallowed

it,

with a vague

smile.

I saw a boy on fire today…