I, Hestia: A Slam Poem

The Fire sustained me. The Fire was my essence;

I twirled my wooden poker stick like a magic wand

Tracing blazes across the purple galaxy.

I connected the white hot stars hanging by screws around me

Stringing together the people I loved

Like spots on a map.

The Fire consumed me.

It melted its grate and licked my fingers the same fingers

That I used to count off the days I spent kneeling over.

`

It warmed my stone heart, cracked it open,

And soon, revived it.

A miracle.

I am blood. I am iron. I am strong.

I am balance. I am passion. I am home.

 

My brother, who smelled of hormones and ozone,

Begged for my protection so I gave him a Piece of the Fire in me

And told him to swallow it whole.

He drew a black X on his chest to remember

The “debt” he owed

But it disappeared with a sparky snap of his fingers.

My sister, miles away, she begged for a place to stay.

I gave her a Piece of the Fire in me

And I told her to burn men who tugged her hair as they played with it,

Cut words into their mouths,

Kiss crimson lips,

And wear it like a hip new color.

My friends were molded in the dark

Carrying hidden demons who

Scribble lost messages onto their skin

I gave them a Piece of the Fire in me –

The key to all the secrets I kept –

And navigated what we were born into.

They drowned the Fire in mirth

As I wept behind doors

I could never lock again.

I am pink. I am dawn. I am love.

I am warmth. I am comfort. I am smoke.

 

My mother is a storm,

A hurricane brewing

Since she was born;

The moon hung by ribbons from her eyes

And she endured heart break I swore I wouldn’t speak of

And yet, she had a daughter.

I gave her a Piece of the Fire in me

And engraved her love into the ground.

I said I’d be kind enough to just cremate her.

My father rips the earth apart out of spite.

He demanded redemption –

I told him, “I’ll never give you that.”

I gave him a Piece of the Fire in me

And made him promise he would never come looking for the half I buried long ago.

And he didn’t.

My adopted father is as gentle

As the metal he carves

Into words of wisdom.

He built the life around him from the ground

With sticks, and stones.

All he had missing was the perfect family.

“I can’t give you that,”

I told him, with tears he never saw

So instead I gave him a Piece of the Fire in me.

We held it between our clasped hands

And for a moment he shined with the youth he thinks he’s lost.

The Flame flickered, and died.

I am empty. I am dimming. I am grey.

I am bones. I am paper. I am skin.

 

I had only one Piece of the Fire in me

Left to keep

So I guarded it like a wild animal.

I escaped depression

Through a tunnel of unconsciousness

Walking on dark angry storm clouds.

My eyes were screwed shut so I opened my mouth

And let the light pour out like a song, the light

Of the last candle taped to my lungs,

And then.

A bird flew by.

And snatched it away.

Before could cry out, I fell

I fell through the sky

And for the first time I felt free.

The wind carried my ashes away

To rest

In a dark, quiet haven.

I am frigid. I am numb. I am blue.

I am solace. I am blistered. I am through.

 

The Fire sustained me.

The Fire consumed me

And now

The Fire

Has destroyed me.

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