Dogs and Children

L lights fires in the park as though they keep the world warm while I wear reflective safety gear and do my best to keep dogs and children away, but there are just so many. "I think he can handle himself," says L as she douses a house of brittle sticks in gasoline. "But he is just a baby" I plead, pinching an old man's jowl. She is now standing on top of the big toy, fire screeching around her like a jubilant audience. At the bend of her wrist a trickle of gasoline runs down the curly slide, "Dr. Jessup says he is testing you with that face." Her stream reaches the lake of burning rubber that once was a safer alternative and the flames quickly ascend to the base of the crow's nest, "And what if I fail the test? What then?" I look down into my arms and the old man is gently snoring. Night waves hello from across the city and, from the looks of it, L has run out of combustibles. She dabs some of her well-earned sweat with a kerchief I had given for her birthday, "Today was good." she pronounces. I agree in a whisper as to not wake the old man who coos in agreement: a happy family.


Washington Spring

Concentric blossoms
obscure the reflection of
a rippling skyline.