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Olivia Cronk – Fire Escape

Olivia Cronk
Fire Escape

That woman was looking for the skyboat. She had graveyard maps & white dog rose rubbed into her hem as hymn. Queen Anne in some circles, an uncommon walnut. The fire continuous, I took coach & went bankside; over there, the river’s been sung to cream & boned flowers line the edge as trim. Swordfighter to gate: wanna’ fence? The evening puddles are licked clean off the brim of the valley. Yes sir. Yes. The deer. Yes. The keys. Only carpenters are resurrected. Lonely carpenters. Swarm my door, hammer man. Fire. Weed my hand. Fire. Fire. Luck my will into favor. When the flames conspired with an ill eastern wind, in a very dry season, it spelled underfoot—Pleete Street, Old Bailey, Ludgate Hill, Warwick Lane, Newgate, Paul’s Chain, Watling Street, a demon’s greet, spell of ash, terrific splash across the city. Mad as a circus breakroom. Nothing but the almighty power to stop. Gentlemen, consider how I’ve burned. Came St. Vitus’ Day. Came vulgar beliefs. Rain in the stomach of one single lustful sparrow indicates rain for three days following. Came the sparrow. Sliced it. Stirred up the lions. Chapels. The blind man’s singing school. Bad girls & boys at the orphanage with their wicked match traps along the rococo woodwork. Fish dropped by, out of sky, & the sight of such flare nearly puckered their gills. Oh calamity. Oh misery. Distracted creatures running loose atop the scaffolds. The air ignited. Quite, quite an appetite. Does sound have hue? Vast stone split asunder. A bell is a dungeon is a bathing beauty is a swan eye. Greedy forest, give me back my knees! All things lather & swoon. Swallow. Sparrow. Spare some swill, the tower’s weak from burn, the weather’s a wreck, goldenrod on the neck—my gingerbread progeny are lost to the oven.

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