The Fire

by Austin Araujo

We’re half caged cardinals, half stray dobermans
               let outside for good—that mix of fragile

and feral, our teeth aligning anew, hands no longer
               stretching or unreliable, cavities filled

with growl and whistle—my mom brings nothing
               but Pinterest with her and me

now that the house is on fire
               like a lantern, silhouetted and illumined

by the heat that scythes a song from the roof’s metal
               and soothes, in turn, the ruins below it;

we go into the woods beside what used to be
               a well-manicured wilderness of a home

and has since caught aflame, sending us,
               in a furl of feathers and tongue, from branch

to charred branch, until one breaks and drops us
               back to earth so we can run

away from this place dying like a candle.

Austin Araujo is a writer from northwest Arkansas. Currently an MFA candidate in poetry at Indiana University, his poems are published or forthcoming from Shenandoah, MemoriousThe RumpusBorderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Four Way Review, and elsewhere.