Playing House

playing houseA girl swallows a matchstick, stifles the slow burn in the hollow of her throat. She wants a home, she says, smoke curling from her tongue. Come to my place, the boy offers, kicking aside piles of ashes. She follows him into the flames—hair singed, eyes sealed shut. Painting her eyelids with cinders, she smiles wide into the melting mirror, warped and wounded. Long after the evening is extinguished, her charred heart remains on the bathroom floor. In the morning, still smoldering, she asks for water, and he offers her straw. So much kindling, she thinks. So much warmth.


Amy Ash has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Kansas. Her poetry book The Open Mouth of the Vase is forthcoming from Cider Press Review.

Photo credit: theilr

2 Responses to “Playing House”

  1. D.A. says:

    Excellent imagery! Uncanny and moving.

  2. Dan says:

    I enjoyed the story, very creative!

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