Waking Up to a World of Fire

By Marianne Szlyk

At 5 am, she looks out the window,

and sunrise explodes onto the sky.

Her man is a cinder blowing 
in June’s hot wind, 

but not into her eyes.  
Not anymore.

Far from her, he drifts off
to work in the burnt-out city

of blackened skyscrapers and crumbling stone,
of spigots that run dry.

There is not enough water 
in the world of fire

to wash her clean,
to quench her thirst.


Marianne Szlyk is a professor of English and Reading at Montgomery College.  She also edits The Song Is…  Her first chapbook is available online at Kind of a Hurricane Press.  Her second chapbook, I Dream of Empathy, is available on Amazon.  Her poems have appeared in Loch Raven Review, of/with, bird’s thumb, Cactifur, Mad Swirl, Solidago, Red Bird Chapbook’s Weekly Read, Mermaid Mirror, and Resurrection of a Sunflower, an anthology of work responding to Vincent Van Gogh’s art.  Some have received nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize.  Her full-length book, On the Other Side of the Window, is now available from Pski’s Porch.  She invites you to stop by her blog-zine and perhaps even submit some poems:  http://thesongis.blogspot.com