by Allison Seay

Here is a girl with a house in her eyes
or, what is left of it, the house no longer a house.

And here is the fire that looks like a mouth
that is trying to swallow too much—

early southern spring, the sky,
the girl in her worn out sun dress.

And here are the birds, circling the girl,
the girl who remembered too late

the kerosene lamp, the girl who thinks the birds
know the truth: it was you, it was you,

they caw. And here are the snakes
she didn’t know were underneath, even more vulgar

now that they’re dead, their fangs charred open.
Tomorrow, there is the girl sitting in the soot

but only until she remembers: snake
husks everywhere. She rises from the ruin

like a flame—the snakes, the snakes
there is no telling which ashes are theirs.

Allison Seay serves as associate editor of The Greensboro Review and assistant director of the MFA Writing Program at Greensboro. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in such journals as Pleiades, Mid-American Review, Harvard Review, Mississippi Review, Southern Review, and others.

© "House Fire" was previously published in Blue Mesa Review, No. 18, Fall 2006.

Felipe Hefler is a Brazilian interactive designer born in São Paulo. Currently he works at Media Front in Norway.
His portfolio includes some works for clients such as Ikea, Red Bull, Unilever, LG, McCann, among others.