lit by her fire, I was the scorched 
tree Clare West found

direction by; a swiftly drawn arrow 
became a drawn hood; an era gone 

Hollywood. She must have known
of the impression we’d leave 

in parchment, her handprints
left here. And here is where 

she held the page
in place to round out the hem,

to round out D. W. Griffith’s army
of extras, an Aryan empire out of old ember. 

How easily she broke me
down. Yes, I gave up 

the pure clean lines she’d been after. 
I remember her hands trembled 

when she lifted the white sheet to her face,
closed her eyes, then blew away my black ash.



Tommye Blount is the author of the chapbook What Are We Not For and the debut full-length collection Fantasia for the Man in Blue. Born and raised in Detroit, Tommye now lives in Novi, Michigan.

[Purchase Issue 24 here.] 


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