Kathy Fagan Cinder

I'm worried about the house and its snotty new crybaby face.
Something under the siding froze in the blizzard then followed the icicles
down but only part way. What's under my skin is
opposite, like cinder, burning but barely, nearly extinguished.
It fell from the El like snow sometimes I'd want to catch it on my tongue.
It's worse at night when something smells not quite like home but ashen
and tremors move inside my thighs as if I'd ridden my bike to a moon
I shouldn't have. Her voice is not her T-shirt though it can feel like her
heat on my ribs if I want it to. When I close my eyes I see
the exhibit's demolition loop: roving spot, fireworks, the crowd
a safe distance away. Built in 1958 in the suburbs of Paris,
the building is nondescript: 51 years x 40 units x an average of 2.2 inhabitants
per unit per year for an average of 16 years apiece = what?
No one wants to do the math anymore unless there's dynamite involved.
But where do they go, mouths shaped in little Os of expectation?
Is that how they recognize each other at the current and the singe?
When the building collapses from the center outward, like Topsy the famous
electrocuted elephant, not even dust stays airborne long.


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