“Obsidian” by Beth Cato

“Obsidian” by Beth Cato

flames engulf the girl’s flesh
gnaw her bones
worry over the marrow
as a dog with a chew toy

yet she lives

in the crosshatched shadows
of a basketball hoop
swirling tendrils of fire
in ringlets
around her fingers

this heat is nothing
the flesh, even less
she shivers from her skin
for the second time that week
blood and charred matter
pool around her ankles

the new skin beneath
slick ebony
soft in all the right places

too soft

it’s not the fire
that makes her wish the
extended to the huddled core
of her soul

it’s her mother’s eyes
the jeers on the playground
ugly, whore, freak

she will take the flames any day
it’s the words
the eyes
that shatter stone

Beth Cato is the author of The Clockwork Dagger steampunk fantasy series from Harper Voyager. She’s a Hanford, California, native transplanted to the Arizona desert, where she lives where her husband, son, and requisite cat. Follow her at BethCato.com and on Twitter at @BethCato.