The quiet was what scared me,
not the sound of a crackling fire,
a flame taking in everything,
burning through pictures through metal,
through stone. Fire bubbled, fizzled,
fried all memory and material.

Though at first indecipherable,
I saw a picture, blazing in the
fire, cheeks, and eyes, and
skin, a baby in the haze.

I screamed out, shouted her name,
she stared back in silence
afraid of the shame.

The child was familiar, and as soon
as I knew, I felt the feeling of
fire engulfing me too.

The photograph, that baby was me,
being burned up, consumed so quickly
till nothing was left but a heap of regret.

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