To Keep Aflame

Author: Sophia Falco

There was no fire to pull out of that volcano like how there was no rabbit to pull out of that magician’s hat. “Where’s your fire at?”, she jokingly exclaimed. Instead of responding, I looked up and pointed, pretending that the airplane overhead made too much noise for me to hear her hoping that her question would disappear just like that rabbit did. A rabbit hole. To my dismay, I really didn’t feel whole.


She forgot she even asked that question, but it haunted me for too long. When I saw those flames dancing in that bonfire a month later, I witnessed that a few lone flames escaped. Then I intuitively started to cry, but made sure they were silent tears to stifle sound so to not bring attention upon myself. No one noticed because the night fall had already fallen.


The reminder that my light was missing from that fire that I thought once was. I tried so hard to foster the flames, and to keep it burning, but it wasn’t really real. The wind didn’t put it out, but instead put the blame on depression.


A mirage that fire, and when I approached it in my nightmare it was really just dark gray ash that got swept away by the wind leaving no trace that that fire even existed in the first place. I knew what she meant by fire. The metaphorical inner drive, and I was terrified depression would continue to extinguish mine.


She didn’t think twice of her question, but I was fearful of her to ask it again. What are the odds that an airplane would be overhead yet again? The odds. When she finally asked me, “Where’s your fire at?”, I, just like a mime without the right clothes, reflected the question back to her.


Her fire was raging. Happy go lucky. Maybe it was out of control. I don’t know how those people even exist, and so I tried to quickly let that thought go like the ash fluttering in the wind like butterflies.


I couldn’t ask for my fire to be restored by her even though I thought the transference of flames was a logical possibility because on second thought I realized that no, those are not mine, and that is definitely not me.


This fire must come from within, but despite this revelation turned declaration—for good luck or for bad luck, I kept matches in my pockets hoping for the possibility to ignite a spark for my fire to return thus to keep aflame hope.

Blogger Bio

Sophia Falco

Sophia Falco is a faithful poet since she finds poetry essential to her understanding of the universe. She is the author of Farewell Clay Dove (UnCollected Press, 2021). In addition, she is the author of her award-winning chapbook: The Immortal Sunflower (UnCollected Press, 2019), the winner of the Mirabai Prize for Poetry, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Furthermore, Falco graduated magna cum laude along with the highest honors in the Literature Department at The University of California, Santa Cruz. Her Bachelor of Arts degree is in intensive literature with a creative writing concentration in poetry. She loves to take long walks on the beach to be in the presence of the water, and to witness the ocean’s vastness, blueness, and beauty.


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