a fever dream or hallucination of a woman young sliding down ward in to dark ness until she hits awakens just as they pull her from the furnace this is not hell? they pour what’s leftover into an urn wipe the spillage onto the floor like dinner crumbs smack her down onto a table in a strange room leave her solitary dusty decades later I arrive with colourful carpets paperback books open windows let light in the cracked blinds fall apart I know her name whisper remove her lid look inside the marbled depths flakes of soot pale shredded bone pop pop pop: she begins to crackle like ruins of a bonfire tendrils of smoke slither upward: she’s a live wire, sparking infinitely sending up small explosions of powder. I taste sulphur inhale her hold her in my hand feel her heat shudder as she begins to glow
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Erica Viola lives in London, via Nebraska. Her previous work has appeared in Into the Void, Press Pause Press, and The Bookends Review, among others.