my mother told me

when flame meets skin

and flame wins

its heat-light burning through

vaseline won’t do

“use honey”

and she was right

the sweet, sticky medicine made shapes on my pores

before spreading out to give my skin room to


and in two days you couldn’t even see

a mark

when i heard the unthinkable news

my beating heart got hot

it scalded my lungs

set my gasps on fire

and left my chest plate charred

i had nothing

then in the broken silence i heard the words

“use honey”

and so here i lay

gold smeared on convex breasts

trying to reclaim my breath

hoping that in two days

i will not feel

your mark