Fire Escape

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Saving Early poetry

Submitted: May 17, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 17, 2018




By Alexander Guinevere Kern

Copyright, 1986




Enter the wall hole your axe rent.

Hotface! Hotface! Gawwd, flame

Zippers up the wall in a vertical tide.

An Ionic curve of purple smoke

Plumes against the ceiling

In a slow-mo roll,

Barks in your lungs.

A thin wail through an altar of heat

Back room! A child!

Hunker down, belly to tile

Hip-slide, hip-slide - grope and gasp,

Glove-tips are feelers, eyelids burn,

Air tank is the twin weight of

Duty on your spine. Blisters

Pock your neck-back, there'll be

Bad scarring. Is this ----?

Carpet! To the right hall ---

The young one cries. Keep suckin' air

And moving. Fire is so loud.

The voice of fire has an accidental

Beauty. Ahead . . . combustion streaks

Pulse behind smoke veils, and a

Shut door is on your left.

Strain vertically you left arm . . .

A knob!

Turn, drop, roll in, and buddy

Kick that door shut!

The crib - a kid

(two-teeth knuckle pale)

The walls seem to breathe and sigh

Tusks of char. Red T-shirted baby

Sweats on his domed head, he's

In a terror, sniffled hoarse.

To him you're a fire monster. But today

Bucko, you're a savior

In a melting helmet and grimy turnout coat.

Pluck him up because for a moment

He is your son, your baby.

He owes the rest of his threescore and ten

To a fire-man . . . now



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