Like hungry birds we circled destruction,
eyes wide and glittering: we were eighteen,
starving for fire. We drove the narrow strip
of street again and watched the buildings blaze
outrageously and were appeased. A brief
augur of ruination sweetened in our open
mouths: we were in love, we slipped a smile
between our lips tasting the blood
and honey there. World without end they said
but even then they knew the call
of conflagration, knew the eagerness
for sirens and for bloody, burning screams
and thirsted for the still silence,
the smoky, hollow dawn that follows fire.
Soot in our hair, we wake bare and bereft
and taste the mist, and praise the sun, and roll
naked and lovely over the scorched earth,
and we sing.
Margaret Wack has had her work previously published in ditch, Eclectica, and Strange Horizons, among others. She lives in Massachusetts.
Editor’s Image Note: The image is a combine of a swarm of gargoyles (gargoyle queen) with a classical painting of the Lake of Fire (artist could not be identified)