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The fire: A prose poem

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DECEMBER 17, 2022

poets speak about love as a burning fire. it’s a cliche, but it’s true. 

have you ever been burned? have you ever felt the stabbing pain of a flame? the needle-like shock that rushes in? 

the fire encompasses one spot, one million times at a time, and all you can do is yell, cry, or close your eyes; defeated and weak, everything around you is lost in another life, and all you know is the agonizing sting on your skin; it looks normal, it feels normal; at first, the pain is gone for one second and you can breathe — but it’s not enough, for you can’t shake the thought that after that second is over the pain will return; your body waits; you look, knowing only fear and loneliness, and then just like that it comes back, crawling from the shadows, the wait feeling like a failed journey, like a spider you stepped on that is not yet dead, like the rain you wipe that does not dry; you cringe, you try to hold the pain but it escapes and broadens, the burn itself yelling at you, you want to run, but it’s a parasite; whirl after whirl, the music doesn’t have a tone or melody; water! cold, liquid, something! please! just stop it! ah, the water feels good, but the pain deepens; you’re in the moment, isn’t that supposed to be a good thing? it isn’t; after some time, the horrible moment is gone, forgotten — the past has taken it, a memory, stored somewhere deep, is it over? ha, no, it was a large burn that is only partly lost; it will find its way back time after time; a slight sting here, another over there, it is a part of you now, a scar, perhaps; every time you look at it, you remember: the fire, the burn — it’s not so bad now, but damn, it was, and you had no control, you were a slave, a loser, a weakling; it was unbearable; you shivered, shuddered, shrieked at the thought; you hated having no fortitude, the pain swindled you, this indelible and inexorable burn was a tattoo, 

this is the fire that poets speak about,

that romantics write about, singers sing about, artists paint about, bohemians explore, 

the fire, the burn that I feel for you, 

for your green eyes and sandy hair, your short stature, for the gorgeous angel that I dream about: 

the one that burns me, scars me, cools me; you are that heavenly devil, 

you are Eden; you are part of me.

Contact Andrés Latorre at 


DECEMBER 17, 2022