Arson by Christine Langill


My mother was the flash point.
She crawled from smoldering ashes,
a wingless phoenix tasting
soot with every step.

Her feathers melted, singed
by the family foreman.
Who do you call when the fire
chief is the arsonist?

Her father doused cigarette flames
in a vodka hydrant. He loved
the taste of myrrh, flavored
every dish with it

until my mother learned to crave
the slice of its tin-can edges
on her tongue before vomiting rust.



Christine Langill is a participant in Tom Daley’s poetry workshop at the Boston Center for Adult Education. While earning her BA at the University of Vermont she received an honorable mention for the Ora Mary Pelham Poetry Prize. Her work has been published by Amethyst Arsenic, Stone Highway Review, and Cobalt Review.


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