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"The Body on Fire Inside Me" by Julia Watson

woke up new / limbs less / charred & / hot

head hot collared / lightning bugs wink / in out / the mountain’s

curve / can you stamp / out the cinders / extinguish the spine / can you kill /

each light / jimmy the switch the dead / outlet suspended /

in danny’s room / whisper honeysuckle / golden tea kettle / a star

a clenching / an empty barn / they won’t hear / you unfurl

your jaw / unlax the hips / bones snap / under

such stress / hairline fracture / hair tousled

below fireworks / girls are thumbed /

into women / bad lilacs bloom / in heat

they wonder / who mothered this / devastation

this smoke / whisper arson / begins with an itching / a mount

Julia Watson earned her MFA from North Carolina State University. Her works have been published in The Shore, Voicemail Poems, Identity Theory, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, and elsewhere. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina with her grumpy dogs. You can read more of her work at


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