a fire for crows by Katie Simpson


a fire for crows

a/n: Swedish proverb meaning to waste something, especially heat


not a burst but 

a slow burn

my mother's tears 

dripping hot 

on my 8-year-old palms 

his growl crawling
across the table

at me, another female body

in the shadow of his fire

we scarred under the skin


as i held out my dreams to him,

fragile as snow,

his scoff ripped through me

what were his words?

i remember driving through the park

trees naked in early spring

the shape of shame 

branding my soul


once i saw his ereader

romances and cowboys

a library of loneliness 

with the cards laid out

i wanted to cry

finally seeing this game

a fire for crows


once i hiked through 

the remnants of a forest fire

a graveyard of trees

upright but hollow

in the spring sun

as we gather at his grave

i taste his ghost,

our ashen tongues 

our smoked stained souls 

but even here 

under a winter sky

new seeds take root

waiting, growing

eager to know the sun



Katie Simpson (She/her) is a writer and photographer based in San Francisco. Her work has been featured in Quiet Lightning, THAT literary review, HitRecord's Body Book, and Entropy Magazine. When not writing, she loves traveling and people watching. Her Twitter is: https://twitter.com/honest_creative.

(Pronouns: she/her)