Kristin Kostick


Steve, I am the girl who set your truck on fire,

who doused the metal and rubber and watched

your books and boots

shrivel upon the seats like weak, burning animals,

who hid in the bushes for three nights                         as you, yourself,

waited in the bushes across the street                          with an axe

and the murderous swing of your mind,                     losing your shit

and cataloguing your lost: Jane Mill's anthology of erotic literature,

some tools, some poems about Lincoln, the pelt of a coyote

you once shot in the head. There is a passage in a book by Piaget,

which you should read sometime,

about Piaget watching his 2 year-old boy popping and un-popping

a canister lid to hear the sound, the certainty

and consistency of that response, how the world became astonishingly real,

—and, I bet, that sound resurfaced later in that Piaget's life

as love and rage and sex and rivers and whatever

is going on in the sky—it all conjures

for me your melting truck, your stocky frame

bounding from the house in your underwear with an extinguisher, a skillet,

the flames opening toward the trees

like wild, curious hands.




This poem is an homage to the poet Steve Scafidi who did, in fact, have his truck set on fire. He still does not know who did it, but maybe he’ll rest easier knowing it was me. His Sparks from a Nine-Pound Hammer I used as flint, after sleeping with it under my pillow every night, scheming to get his attention.