Jul/Aug 2017 Poetry

Love Is a Burnin' Thing

by Maddie Woda

Image courtesy of the British Library Photostream

Love Is a Burnin' Thing

I'll find you halfway to Nevada
by the time I've said my goodbyes.
You won't even let my apology
settle like grit beneath
your fingernails before blazing
on—you like to think you are a
cowboy, lit cigarette and matchstick
heat, but I know you could
never handle all the smoke.

I will be against the kitchen
table, slicing soft apples and cheese
that looks like candlewax, but you
will be listening to Johnny Cash with
the windows down. And it's miles
before you understand what he
means when he sings, "oh, but

the fire went wild." Were
I in the car I expect you'd wink
at me and whisper, "his time was in
the sun, but his heart was in
the clouds" and I would accuse even you
of not knowing what that means.

I'll determine my own interpretation,
thank you, while you're clocking calendar
days in a desert mirage, wavering
at the edges. You've never been
one to argue, an adult with wet wood
kindling at best, but I'll be here
fighting fire with sweet resolve.


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