_____Fire is speech.

__________– “The Female Arsonist”

There is a man inside
_____the house, teaching

the living room how to burn.
_____He has already

appeared to the sofa, he has
_____already been kind

to the cat. The slow fatality
_____of glass, flower vases

starting to bubble. I imagine
_____this. I don’t move,

or go inside. I sit on a paver
_____on the lawn;

I think other kindnesses:
_____of gravy, a living-well,

the cabinets leaning open
_____like mothers—

saying eat well, sit a spell,
_____ eat well. And in the dark

under my stone the ground
_____is hiding, ground

of worms, ground of salt,
_____ground of the tapering

tunnels filled soon
_____with the birth flight

of cicadas. They will shriek, speak.
_____They won’t open their mouths.

Annah Browning