a toy firetruck lost in ash

a shiny red
metal firetruck
sitting in
a burned out
shell of a trailer
somewhere back
before life
asserted itself
firmly upon
a child’s flesh
the last remnant
of innocence
lost as everything
went up in flames

the deus ex machina
separating the
child that wept
from the adult who
barely existed
still too hot
days after the fire
the tchotchke
of a lost little boy
too young to learn
the lessons of
an adult tragedy

i dreamt of
the red firetruck
for the first time
in a long while
of all the bad things
crystal clear in
my battered mind
it stands out as
the final image
of a happy youth
before we moved in
with my grandmother
and i understood
i was a living sin
the firetruck was
my favorite toy

we can’t go back
and unfuck the past
just live with
the embers burning
of a life of loss
and a firetruck amid
the ashes of a once
nearly idyllic home
a hollow hellscape
where the hopes of
a once promising youth
are nothing more than
rusted memories
haunting painful dreams

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