the world goes up in flames around me:
i see nothing but smoke,
& ashes fill my mouth, silencing my scream.

you offer me safety - fireproof tunics,
oxygen. but

every time i reach for you, he gets in the way
lighting matches, throwing sparks

(. and bruised thighs are hard to forget.)

his pain surrounds me, his eyes burn into me,
so with nowhere to run and only his arms to fall into:

i burn.
and burn, and burn