You live in a combustible building, love,
so warns the fire notice on your door.
Sure, the apartment is controlled for rent,
above a laundromat and liquor store,
but have you not observed the plaster tear
and the hardwood floor curl its long nailed toes
when flames, for regulated gas, consent
and sear cod fillet and asparagus?
Or when you plugged in the a.c. with hand
damp from an afternoon of sex, were shocked
by the hideous circuit hidden in cement,
unplanned combustion in what’s built and blocked
from us who slum in this construction sham.
So read this notice. Plan your escape route.
Run if things ignite without intent
and hammer every door on your way out.
--First published in Shit Creek Review