She decided it on her sixth birthday.
The cake presented, she turned her breath,
candles flickered but held. Six flames,
dancing to the base of their wicks.
As she grew, she tended sparklers –
no stutter or flash,
but a constant fizz in her hands.
She cherished tealights, lined up rows
in holders the colour of sunsets.
Every fire in every hearth
became a well-stoked blaze.
she found her mouth hot as dragon breath,
well-placed words alight and flying.
Lately, she maps her body in flames.
One for each limb, one for each side
of her brain. A bonfire for her heart.
Just burning, and burning.
Claire Walker has two pamphlets published by V. Press – The Girl Who Grew Into A Crocodile (2015), and Somewhere Between Rose and Black (2017), which was shortlisted for Best Poetry Pamphlet at the 2018 Saboteur Awards. Her third pamphlet, Collision, is due in September 2019 from Against the Grain Press. She is Co-Editor of Atrium poetry webzine.