Household Fires

I am giving up
being atomic,

constantly divided
into smaller
approximations of

I choose
to be the locus
of my own science.


The day the grid
collapsed we leapt
to tether the shade,

the door resolved itself
into a white figure
and our voices
guttered behind our teeth.


I keep expecting
to see blue flames

on hilltops, shivering
trees and the air
above my head.


I am sifting the ashes
for some means
of escape, of giving up

this reckless devotion
to light.

Chris Emslie lives in Scotland. He spends a lot of time on trains. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in NAP, Specter and Sixth Finch. He co-edits ILK and has dreams of owning an anteater.