Things you could do if you were Fire

a poem by

Parag Mallik

You could heat the metal case placed above you
by coarse hands with hopes to prepare food
little morsels that they call a meal using your arms,
to fulfill childish hunger on a chilly night.
You could be wrathfully burning the innocent pages of a diary
that potentially held a universe of emotions,
powering the flames of anger and helplessness,
similar to those in the heart.

You could be the quivering flames of a diya
lit with immense devotion and downright credence in an invisible entity,
accompanied by murmurs, asking begging for blessings.
You could be the spectator of fervent,
blooming love at a campfire
while hands swivel around leaning bodies in search of warmth,
singing classics in unsteady voices.

You could be the blazing end of a cigarette
held to lips full of unknown despair,
clenched between someone’s fingers in poise,
while you slowly fall as redundant ash
and so does their smoky breath.