i'm the backdraft baby from the oven mother.
she kept painting herself pot belly black--
i was born pink as a sea shell,
but the contact left me red--
a real red headed stepchild struck sharply in the dark.
little marvel that you, dear later love, followed my smoky scent,
and, talons artfully crossed behind your back, declared me bright.
furious turning-to-ashes me,
set your creative curses in my ear like diamonds,
and said, ah, my head is become a jewel.
like every pigeon of a huckster/devil/killer,
i thought it all came from you.
i was a bird looking with one eye through my heat-cracked varnish,
and oh how i sang for what i saw.
now i'm older,
my ledge is full of bones.
it looks like dance when i move around up here.
what i finally learned,
after loving you,
figuring you out,
is that the darkness in you that looked like home to me,
was just the product of my own burn.
i'm the light, motherfucker,
and you are only
sweeping, filling, blinding for a pitchman's moment--
and then gone, not even dark,
just non-existent like you were before i ever lit up your smile.
for Susie's challenge at Real Toads