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If you are the only one in the inferno, are you even burning at all?

Uma Ashrani

maybe i know there’s a raven in my skull 

maybe i bring it sacrifices anyway: 

a knife, stained glass, a sign, the aftermath. 

maybe i know there’s a raven in my skull 

but it doesn’t know it’s there 

pulling teeth and screaming its grief 

until the fire turns its head from everything once feared. 

(the raven sees the smoke but not itself burning. 

the raven sees itself only when reflected in the fire.) 

maybe the raven wants to kill me 

maybe this time i’ll let it 

it’s been so long since anyone looked in my eyes when i wasn’t smiling 

i’ve almost forgotten my eyes can close.


(the part of me that fell asleep on a december afternoon is getting worried. no one is joining it and the bed isn’t quiet enough to keep the sounds of laughter out. the sounds of forgetting out. forgetting has a sound, you see? forgetting sounds like a heartbeat, like blood pumping like ‘normal’. being awake is so easy except when it isn’t.) 

maybe sleeping hands can’t draw pictures of what the days have done to me. but i’ve brought the raven enough ink that it can. 


maybe i know there’s a raven in my skull. 

maybe i want to sit with it.

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