Arson by Laura Emerson

I am the firebug, or so they say,

and have been ever since the night

I took the glowing irons from the hearth

and seared my name into the clay.

The name remains upon the stones

and in my hand, a firebrand.


I’ve carried torches that have

cooled into old flames.

I’ve followed crests and flies into

their nests, high up in thorny branches,

gathered dry sticks below them,

brought them opals as offerings.


I’ve loaded ships with wood

and cast them loose, alight, to blaze

a trail of jewels across the night

and settle, singing, on distant shores.

I’ve caught the ash that falls, like stars,

upon my tinder tongue.


Inside this burnished box I keep

a flint and stone.

A rope, for kindling.

One lone match.


Artwork by: Katy Lawson

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