Taking out the fire pit the night of my best friend's crisis of faith / Mary-Bryant Charles
Taking out the fire pit the night of my best friend's crisis of faith / mary-bryant charles
You prefer building fires the girl scout way.
Cedar twigs arranged in orthodox vectors,
back a solemn arch against the grievances of the zephyrs.
Were it up to me, I’d slather everything in gasoline:
the cicada skins, the empty inhalers, the books
about rocks and mercy and what manner of
light can stand to exist between the lips of the Mariana
Trench, but I understand that you need to be
sure, that you’re not ready to account for
the path of every wayward ember. We can use the preacher’s
chevron mustache as kindling, the folds of white cloth,
the hands that pushed you back and held your
breath while the baptistry wrapped itself around
you. Feeling saved these days? It’s okay to not.
They say the waiter down the road, the one who
opened his own throat over a pot of rice,
probably wasn’t. I think the hardest part is waiting
for oxygen to come. Sitting through the idea that
the feeling’s sure to come back if you blow at it
hard enough. I’m sure a day will come when
slipping into absence carries nothing of rust.
Faith is a smokestack and
a sculpture and a pulse. Not suitable for
weathering. Not compatible with ash.
Mary-Bryant Charles is a writer and student at the University of South Carolina. Her work has been previously published in Rum Punch Press and in Litmus Magazine. In 2017, She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in nonfiction and she currently lives in Columbia, South Carolina.