Skye Talcott-Dobbs

An art piece that represents the author’s feelings on love – as a burning forest.

Tori Baer, Managing Editor

Every bit I climb, 

the bar heightens.

One “crime”

and the noose tightens.


Fire licks at my soles

as I try in vain to get higher.

My body burns as my soul

can’t give in to the pain any longer.


Even if I managed to climb the tallest tree,

I could never handle the whole forest.

I will never be free

of your everlasting disappointment.


The farther I reach the canopy,

the less oxygen that remains.

I’m ready to pass out and flee

from the forest you’ve pained.


The branches thin.

I can’t look down.

What if they snap like pins?

The embers can’t catch me now.


With every unnoticeable act,

you light up like a cannon.

Shooting me with your wrath,

the further you examine.


Your fire preys 

with the more anger that surges. 

I wish I could climb away

from the possibility of burning.


You don’t commemorate my progress,

you just tell me that I slipped,

so I am here to address

that I still arrived at the tip.


You claim you’re the all-knowing owl

at the top of the tree,

but it’s clear you’re the howl

of the flames beneath.


You say you’re proud in one tone,

then use the same reason

to set aflame to my wooden home:

such treason.


The tree will inevitably burn to ash,

so I will crash and burn, too,

but I know you would never leave that in the past

with the ecological balance now askew.


I’m not justified for my actions.

Your history was more repressing.

Sorry for even bothering to tell you my problems.

I will remember there is no worth in confessing.


Talons seem to sprout from my fingers

as I shred apart my bed.

Torrents of water don’t have time to linger,

soaking the remaining threads.


The forest was all a dream,

yet a reality.

You’re the wildfire that gleams

and scorches my will to be me.


Yet it seems to only ignite my flames.

You’re fuel to my fire.

I know you have the power to maim,

and I know you’re a liar.


Connecting halves that don’t fit,

thinking I’m going to listen.

As if I’m supposed to believe correlation exists.

Yet, I do nothing, even when my eyes glisten.


You pretend like I’m something I’m not,

so I stay uncomfortable in my own skin.

Not wanting to touch the rot,

as if what I am is a sin.


And I sit, lips sealed,

knowing better than to defy,

because with your jurisdiction, it’s guaranteed

that I won’t even be tried.


But with ash,

rises a phoenix, renewing,

with a thrash,

it will surely unwind your doings.