candle wick wishes
for fire and red-hot palms:
reach out
branding tiger stripes across
my face. don't let
screams out of my head;
I can hold
my own with rusty elbows
in place. welding me together.

skin graft to start again.

upside-down cork head: empty
bottles of wine
to lap up lighter fluid
and dance to matchstick drums;
trigger, a little flare.

come moths to
the flame—I am at
the stake with a torch
just for you.

pack a punch;
rip the jaw clean off
and take a toothy trophy.

nothing melts
on these lips—they don't drink
iron for a dagger: I want
the still-beating heart