Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Angela Yuriko Smith @AngelaYSmith @darc_nina #LoH

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Unfelt Flames of Kate Leone
by Angela Yuriko Smith

The beginning and the end
are the same moment for me
today when the flames around us
engulf the unfelt flames in my heart
and my future, my dreams and tomorrows—
and God, us and them—
and everything I know—
in a moment, turns to ash.

I am on fire—aflame!
for life, for the butcher boy
and for my expected $7
earned from my 52 loyal hours
spent cutting shirtwaists no longer in fashion
for ladies I will never know
and as the lady I will never be
in a moment, turns to ash.

Saturday night—and freedom!—
approaches with the fire that blisters
the blisters that I fussed over this morning
on my tired end-of-the-week fingers.
Ignorant, I blindly wasted this day.
I let it spin by, unseen, my eyes glued on the end
where I follow the crowd, not to death, but to pay that
in a moment, turns to ash.

I have pined for the moment where I can be on fire
eager for the promised kiss that now wastes
poised on my lips, parted not from a sigh, but a cry
as the unfelt flames of my youth are consumed
by the conflagration that surrounds us all.
Dawn rose with its usual promise of life
never hinting at an end at the end of a day that
in a moment, turns to ash.


More from Angela Yuriko Smith:

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, author and co-publisher of Space and Time magazine, a publication that has been printing speculative fiction, art and poetry since 1966. Together we build a poem as a community each month. Visit “Exquisite Corpse” at to submit.

Catch up with Angela here!


This entry was posted in Authors, Dark Fiction, flash fiction, FREE, Horror, Ladies of Horror, Writing Project and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Angela Yuriko Smith @AngelaYSmith @darc_nina #LoH

  1. afstewart says:

    Wonderfully, darkly written. Very poignant.

  2. Intricately woven, lovely!

  3. Marge Simon says:

    So sad. I know the event you are thinking of, you also had a poem about the fire in the shirt factory years and years ago in your poetry collection. Powerful.

  4. I love the swirling rhythm of this poem – the emotions sweep through it like the fateful flames. I’m doubly interested in Marge’s comment above – had to look it up, what an awful event. 😦

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