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Prognosis of Fire

by Chloe Monet Sutch


So you take to the air.

Take all your paintings with you.

They are your medicine, after all.

Your proof of having lived,

Having thrived.

The things that keep your heart in time.


That gene passed on like a cancer.

I have your hands.

I have your fire.

We fly too close to the sun, you and me.

Icarus ourselves over and over.

Call it dedication, call it


Call it: everyone in this family

Comes with a diagnosis.

Wing melted, boiling

A contrail of beeswax and feathers from failure to fall --

Little waxen pearls wearing the sky

All the way down --

We were so close, Father.

You are too ripe with creativity,

A watermelon left sun-burst and pulping

In the heat.

You took off your coat.

Left it in a sad mass on the floor

For no one in particular.

She doesn’t say so, but I know

Mother hopes I’ll buckle

To the desire for children.

She knows I keep my body tied

In a whore’s knot,

So that nothing but fire may enter me.

But you don’t damn the knot. You understand

The artist is in perpetual pregnancy,

Each blink of ink on white paper is birth, immaculate.

You know I am infected like you.

I have your hands.

Your crown of wax working bees.

Kin calluses

Split from work

From flying too close to the sun

From living, kindly, wildly, madly

With this


Art remains

A necessary illness,

A fantasy of architecture.

The crystal pillars holding the world in place --

In constant threat of shattering.

The lens, inevitably, fractures.

The shards make a mirror, in pieces.

Divide and reconnect.

Until it all comes back in a circle

Blue green glass confetti

Dragging its teeth along the bottom of the bottomless ocean

Then, eventually, kissing the surface for air.

You played the architect.

Built me and the house I dreamt in.

Left me your scepter, your hammer.

And nothing more.

Art is not a stairway I am building to God.

It is not the hero’s quest toward immortality.

It is not the gown I drape myself in.


It is a road split to infinity

Leading nowhere but in.

It is the fire burning wide-eyed and blue

Moths winking their silver dust into your hands.

It is the daisy swaying atop the tomb

It is a galaxy in a grain of sand.

Monet Sutch is a student, writer, and vocalist currently living in Portland Oregon. Writing and literature have been sources of sanctuary and safety for Monet since they were a child. Their work focuses on family, identity, recollection of trauma through different lenses, the music of language, and using curiosity as a necessary tool to approach all things existential, ethereal, and human. Their work has been published in The Bridge, Pointed Circle, and Chaleur Magazine.


August 2018

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