Slow Burning

Darlene Ninziza

Year: Senior

Major: Child development and Writing 

Home: Rwanda


Lying on a bed of burning coals

Pressing in, relaxed, as I scream your name.

I am to your right, next to you

offering a way out, guard your heart.

But you just look at me, and smile.

The man who is supposed to love you,

laid you to rest, on a bed of burning coals.

Claims you are safe, though he doesn’t join you.


I see you burning, but you ignore me.

You love him, because he chose you.

But you are a short lived choice.

How did he capture you?

Lure you to his bed of burning coals.

Fooled you to endure the pain,

He reaches deeper, a layer further, 

closer to your heart, and you are in love.


The smoke blinds your eyes, 

They are too dry to cry. 

You blink the stinging away

You inhale, and sink with every breath

The coals bury you like quicksand

You can’t hear me, you can’t see me

Under his bed of burning coals