Arson Poetica Dana KosterI’ve memorized the distance from finger to forehead, I’ve struck the match head, I’m deciding which letters to burn. Dear Virginia, we are all complicit, Santa never existed outside of your bed. Dear Witches, I’ve yearned for your taloned kisses, I too have been spurned by the tales of men. Dear all of the women I’ve wronged, who have wronged me, Dear Daughter, Dear Sister, Dear Auntie, Dear Friend, I’ve always loved you, I’m sorry, bear with me, I’m torching the fences inside of my head. Dear Mama, I waited, I suffered, I fevered but your ghost was unruly, you never appeared. And if you were there, cousins, and night birds, and lovers, why can’t I remember the things that you said? Cinderella, your gown is caught at your ankles, you should have been cared for. Your mother is dead.
Dana Koster was a Wallace Stegner Fellow and a 2012 recipient of the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Indiana Review, Southern Humanities Review, The Cincinnati Review and EPOCH, among others. She lives in California’s Central Valley with her husband and young son.