Prose – “Where There’s Fire”



Where There’s Fire // by Jennifer Patino


The room could be burning and I’d
hardly notice. I’m glued to shocking
news and a murky vision view
clouding how I want to feel.

It’s raining advice and soon everyone’s
voice blends together. The caring chorus
becomes a repetitive tornado. A cyclone
that picks me up then tosses me among
thorns or jagged rock. After electrical
storms, I am covered in bruises. Beaten.

I smell smoke but I’m so used to skin
singeing that it mixes with my own
smoldering offering. It is a sacred
fragrance. The smell of medicine.
The mouth watering hunger for the
end of suffering that at times can
feel so close. Can fire destroy fire?

By the looks of things, I may find out.



Prose – “Self Care”


Photo by Me



Self Care // by Jennifer Patino


I take extra time putting lotion
on my hands. I feel the dry
patches, the cracks, the very
bones beneath as they vibrate
upon applied pressure. Gentle.
Soothing. Tiring.

I add extra to put on my face.
I hold this face in my less
than capable hands. I inhale
the scent of the lotion. It smells
of a snowy morning and I
start to cry. My tears taste
of bitter nostalgia.

I look myself in the eye in
the mirror and sob,
I’m sorry. I don’t have
anything to say to you
that will make you feel better.
But you’re doing your best,
do you hear me? You’re doing
the best that you can.