playing with fire
something is always burning, passion, pride, envy, desire, the internal organs going chokingly up in smoke, as some- thing outside the body exerts a pull that drags us like a match across sand- paper. something is always burning, london, paris, detroit, l.a., the neighbor- hoods no one outside seems to see until they're backlit by flames, when the out- siders, peering through dense, acrid, black-&-orange-rimmed fumes, mis- take their dark reflections for savages altogether alien. how hot are the london riots for west end pearls? how hot in tot- tenham? if one bead of cream rolls down one precious neck, heads will roll in brix- ton: the science of sociology. the mark duggan principle of cause and effect: under conditions of sufficient pressure— measured roughly in years + lead ÷ £s— black blood is highly combustible.
Copyright © 2011 by Evie Shockley. Used with permission of the author.
Embracing both free verse and formal structures, Evie Shockley straddles the divide between traditional and experimental poetics.
Date Published: 2011-09-19
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/playing-fire