THE PRESTIGE

Day 2 of 30 days 30 poems

the man put his hand on the stove and decided not to remove it
he felt the searing burn of the electric heat on his flesh but still
despite every impulse in his body he refused to take it away
as the tips of his fingers began to catch flame and crumble
like five cigarettes dwindling before his very eyes he wondered
am i any of this? what line have i crossed that no one else has
am i a hero? will it be a legacy worth telling that one day i
a man no different than any other man decided to put my hand
literally into the fire, here in the midst of this suburban whiteness
here in the midst of this humming refrigerator talk show blues
white bread bologna kraft single mayonnaise sandwich cut the crust
is it worth it that i burned myself alive alone here inside of my home
inside the strange tube light shadows of this cookie cutter kitchen
his wrists on fire his arms on fire all of him on fire until he disappeared

and then bones carried away into clinical labs
and then the dust of a human life swept up
sucked up into a vacuum separate from everything

and then what?

because making something disappear isn’t enough
you have to bring it back

Author: brice maiurro

Denver poet. Author of Stupid Flowers, out now through Punch Drunk Press.

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