When she was eight, her ritual was fire.
Solemn and still, in silence but for the scratch
Against emery of a stolen match,
She would light three candles, watch the flames aspire
To pointed nothing, then take folded spills
And watch them burn to fragile curling black.
She'd whisper words like "car-crash", "heart-attack"
Unsmilingly, and will the world's worst ills
Upon her new step-dad, the King of Lies.
The flame burns tiny in her focused eyes.


{short description of image} She hates her uncle... Most nights she hears...