The actual title of this poem is “I Cower Away from Sparks but I’m Already Burning / Matches”. (And the award for emo-est title goes to…) This poem got started in Japan and was finished somewhere between Amsterdam and Brussels a few weeks later.

I bite at the splinters under my nails
My calloused fingers chafing against
This piece of tinder, trying to make it

Hand me a knife: I’ll carve these twigs
Sharp enough to puncture a lung
I strike them on the rough edge of my thoughts
But I don’t know how to make you

I’ve made fire from a single spark before
Dug my blistered palms through embers
Kindled away their charcoal death
Pushing helplessly, hoping for diamonds

You shiver under my stare
I never thought myself cold
And I don’t know how to weave
Cotton into blankets
Words into warmth

But I can break my hands
Trying without knowledge
Skill or belief
To turn this dead wood
Into matches