The Flames of Love

matches-mdby Brad Rose

Things that matter can go wrong. Nothing you can do to slow them down. After the fire at her work, I carved Eve’s name on my right arm, so she’d know how much I love her. Now I’m driving to her house. Up ahead, there’s something in the road, like a bird or an animal. It’s thinking I’m someone else. I try to miss it, but I’m focused on my blood. You can never be too focused on what’s inside. How many gallons of blood in my arms? Sometimes they feel so heavy—cold, inside and out—like gasoline drums. I drank some coffee, so now, at least, I can hear myself think. Ever since I stopped repeating myself, I’m more comfortable with my height. Out here, the night sky is pretty, like jewelry on a spider’s back. I don’t recognize some of the street names, but I know I’m getting closer. They say the planet is running out of water. It makes me want to apologize to somebody, but who? When I get to her house, maybe she won’t be home.

Maybe I won’t have to use these matches, after all.


Brad Rose was born and raised in Los Angeles, and lives in Boston. He is the author of Pink X-Ray, Big Table Publishing, 2015. (Available at:, and
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