Excerpt1 – by Maggy Curran

Flash Fiction, Poetry


after the incident, i had no reason to trust anyone. underneath my clothes, the skin was completely destroyed. run over with razors and scalpels and rubbed raw from rough fingers and palms.  

between my legs, there was fire. it was a burning that never stopped, a burning much stronger than what i felt when i made the marks on my wrists with cigarettes. his hands and dick must have had gasoline on them. because that night, the space ignited. and after that night, it never went away. 

every day i sing the same song. the middle of the night, i wake up with that burning. it’s short-lived, a few seconds, sometimes i think it’s a dream. it happens the same way each time: the burning starts while i’m still asleep. i have no recollection of how long it occurs before i wake up- but i think i wake up as soon as it starts. it happens, and it’s quick but the span of time between waking and when it releases its grip on me seems long. it hurts because of the flashbacks: a slap of palm against thigh, leaving a welt, i feel it all. when it’s not happening i am reminded of lighting yourself on fire, how it only burns for a few seconds but those seconds are months, years, lifetimes. pain transcends the human construct of time. it stops hurting but i know it’s still burning. lines of an anne sexton poem rings in my head. darling, the composer has stepped into fire. 

falling back to sleep is hard after this. some nights i can lay in bed, alone with my thoughts, until i fall asleep. tonight is not one of those nights. after the pain my body is buzzing, tingling, requiring movement. i get up. my eyes itch with sleep. the sting of cold air slips over my skin like torturous silk.   

i wish it would all just scab over sometimes. my skin turn pink and ridged with scar tissue. then i wouldn’t feel anymore.  


(Note: the image is from http://www.instructables.com/id/Fire-Skirt!/ – a site unrelated to this site or this poem)

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