A little girl stands in her own ashes

A fire burns around

Her fire

Contained

And trapped

And finally tore loose

The fire reaches her feet

Crawls up her legs

It burns and burns

And she only smiles

This is her fire

It sends embers landing on her arms

Adorned by dozens of thin white stripes

The price of living

It sends soot smearing onto her face

Carved only by wandering trails

Tears battling down her face

Hidden for so long

It sends sparks searing her neck

Bent and broken beyond repair

From the distance

It seemed like the only option

Through the smoke she can see her world

A hateful world

A spiteful world

"You're going to Hell," they'd spit in her face

She could never seem to them

She was already there

She held it inside of her

Every second, every day

And in the months and years that had passed

There was only one bright light

Giving life

And burning her

The little girl holding hands with her

The two smiling together

But always secret

And fire built inside

Hate and fury pummeled her

Prejudice and intolerance attacked her

And the fire built

It could never be unleashed

It could never shine through

Because who knew what would happen if it did

No one could know

But they did know

They knew her secret

And they told her so

And then it was too much

Shards of broken plates and bowls

Raised voices meant to shatter

Skinned knees and salty tears as she tumbled out of the house

Pushed by those who swore to love her

No matter what

The walls broke

The fire was released

She ran

And ran

Until the ground underneath her gave way

And she fell

And fell

And couldn't get back up.

A little girl stands in her own ashes

A fire burns around

Her fire

Contained

And trapped

And finally tore loose

And she stands in the intersection between Heaven and Hell

Both gates open for her to walk through

A gate of love and acceptance - a place she has every right to

A gate of fire and demons - a place where she can release her fire

And she doesn't know she's worthy of Heaven

Doesn't know she has every right

Doesn't even know if she's able to be loved

Not any more

And so she walks confidently into Hell

The only place she's ever known

The only place she's ever been

The only place that would understand her pain