Flame is a girl who likes writing poems on her palms.
She writes wishes on them, too, and wouldn't wash them for days until her aunt shoves them under a running faucet and scrubs them clean until Flame cries.
Mommy, Daddy I
didn't mean to
She loves drawing as much as writing, and etches family portraits on to the side walk until the rain comes from the heavens, and it becomes far too obvious what that red line above their heads are for. The little girl survives, every time. All smiles with a silver crown, she stands alone under an over-turned plastic box. She is like the last bomb survivor of Hiroshima: there but has the sickness in the marrow of her bones.
Her eyes are always looking at the past, they're supernovas of the sun; a thousand million molecules and atoms exploding and sucking everything in with them. Her hair is and shriveled like the last tomato on the vine and as bright as bloody sunsets and fire engines.
The crown on her forehead is from the mantle, where it all began. It's a piece of rustic metal melting in fires of the past, dreaming of nights where it sat atop a woman's head for her murmur of "I do".
The bandages, she was told, were to protect her wounds from infection, but Flame knows all. She remembers the aid's whisper of don'tlookdon'tlookdon'tlook as she wound them over her eyes for just a moment as screeching wheels ran past, but she saw the open black bags catch moonlight.
She remembers the sluggish pitter-patter of her bird heart twisted inside her chest, and murmurs coming from stoic lips and faces. She remembers shaky fingers on her cheeks like fire, though they said that was the culprit itself. She remembers most of all, choking on air and seeing smoke come out through her lips.
Flame knows bandages can't protect her eyes, but prays for reprise from the voice in her mind. Ash, she calls him. His voice is like feet on gravel, his face same color as the firefighter's who pulled her out of the rubble, but she remembers him just falling. He never coughed up smoke. His voice is but a whisper among sirens, background noise against music playing in the car, but he is always there
Flame is the child of a Mother and Father, but a daughter of ashes she was dragged from.