Burning Out

by Steven Gonzales 

Auburn pours in and blurs a room
Filled with the scent of pages flipped
As she sips iced tea at the end
Of a long day, and grips onto each word.
The soft kiss of sun on her skin
Makes her think of home again,
And the fan’s oscillating hands cradle
Thoughts drifting into dreams.
The story she loves more than most
Lights a fire in her mind,
The colors burning deep
Like the afternoon’s glow.

She sketches in these final lines
From this memory she long thought
Dead, and finds the daylight all but gone.
Her portrait now sits framed on the stand
Beside her bed, so she won’t forget again.


Steven Gonzales is a recent graduate from Lamar University in Southeast Texas, where he’s lived the majority of his life, and works as an English teacher. He has had works published in both Lamar’s literary magazine and Firewords Quarterly. This poem is based on artwork by Laurin Crozier.