Burn List

Inside the heart

of every teenage

girl burns a flame

that never goes out.

But virgin brains are

vigilantly branded. Better

to marry than to burn.

So I kept my lily hands off

the handsome Mormon

who took me to the carnival

in a cobalt sports car.

And with the blue-eyed blonde

from Prophetstown

I limited the penetration

to stares.

There was the vampire

I snogged on the dance floor,

and the journalist

I ardently groped

in the dark. But

any time I came

close, guilt and fear

doused the spark.

How far is too far?

Preachers are ever eager

to advise.

The Baptist missionary

repented of impure thoughts

inflicted by holding my hand.

While the Catholic ginger

bared himself in a field,

watching angels be damned.

But it was the guitarist who

made me mix tapes and

in the cheap white sheets

of college town motels

taught me the sweetness

of fire.

Once lit up,

I burned all

the way down.

02.19 | New Hymns