The Fire Drill

by Cameron Sidhe

What was I, this dear thing,
sodden from the juices of creation,
trailing my tentacles along the wet paint
at Lascaux. Look closer and you will see me
in the little tendrils of pawprints,
in the blown dust they left along the imprints
of their fingers.

Every bit a villain as when the world took shape.
You cannot destroy me - only create.

And in a minute I will undo what years
of careful pondering have done, what roots
and seeds and tinctures have mightily yearned
to nurture. Oh ye of the coats and caduceus, ha!
Quake and piddle in your rubber soles -
down to the mitochondria. Each wrap
of the chromotid rotten, each disjunction
which births me, there I whisper my siren song,
there I whirl and whine and wait for your wrongs,
your cigarette breath, your slab of tenderloin,
every caloric misstep that slides so silky
down the gilded trap.

Fed by the apple, crafted by the snake.
You cannot destroy me - only create.

HeLa, HeLa, and other incantations,
muttered shushingly along incandescent aisles
of the dying, each an isle of agony, with flies
patiently baying to be born in their eyes.
You see me in the swollen gourds of misfit children,
mouths lolling for sweet balm beyond them, wishing
in their silent moments that they had never crawled
into this itching wretched world, their too thin necks
stretched to breaking to accommodate chemical-shot
cheeks, taxed by breathing, that last release
so close, one final door aching for an unlocking
that no one wants them to reach.

Even at the breast, none is safe.
You cannot destroy me - only create.

I laugh at your ribbons strangling your throats.
Pink is a color that does me no harm.
As you grasp for elixirs and potions, walk
for miracles and spin secrets from dreams,
I am a multiplier of nightmares -
and I am already inside.

I am you and will be you until the last date.
You cannot destroy me - only create.

Cameron Sidhe is an poet living in Chicago, IL. Sidhe is the author of the poetry anthologies Bitter Grapes and Riot Act and her work has been featured in the anthology Chicago After Dark as well as the Mochila Review, Bewildering Stories, and Cahoodaloodaling. Sidhe is a British Literature major at University of Illinois-Chicago and studies sexual assault against marginalized communities.