Weekly Write: “Adobe Fires” by S.A. Leger

First published in Issue 8 of 2 Bridges Review, Summer 2019

Adobe Fires

Used to sing a song about him, maybe hum. Used to serve it
around Bridge Street, call him Leatherface or some such Ruthism.
Used it wrong again, didn’t I? Anyhow, he made ends meet
butchering hogs for corporate cook-outs & whittling—assisting
kids with whittling I mean. And lighting fires. ‘Dobe fires. Blest,
canonized with not one but two sickly wives & never, not once

breathe anything but pure lemon-sweet oxygen. I, the always
embers, I, the tongue that licks the clay. Hold me up, eighty-twenty
aspen shrapnel/help-wanted ads from the Sentinel, show me wretched
objects & I’ll show you the void that falls in line behind chastity
behind you. Your shadow and its void. It’s void & I’m the vacuum
that clears a room, fills it with smoke. I am feared, I am not alive

in 37 years did ole Deeprivers stay home. He lit fires. He lived
for that shit. Sometimes he walked back alleys collecting—when
pigs fly, we’d say, he’ll stop lighting ‘dobe fires—anyhow, he held
prob’ly six stems of dried tumbleweed, squeezed his fists, split
his knuckles just about. Walking alleys with stickers making love
to his leaking capillaries. See, tumbleweeds weren’t tinder. Hallowed

but empty, not really there at all. Unless you channel back, magnify
original thermodynamic laws. Then hold me. Then feel my record
sear. Lace up wounds from thorns. Cauterize the matrix of fish &
wasps forming new scar tissue as we speak. Perhaps I am never
the real enemy of white blood cells, plasma—at least, less selfish
than an infection. In my dreams they call me a fever, now disease

fuel for his fires, but again, never tinder. Maybe sagebrush feeds
his fires. I’m not even sure sagebrush will burn. He might’ve invoked
god’s favour by lighting those fires because he was carving up
a good piece of dirt with ash. No city folk ever complained. Exist
is all he did—that’s just ole Dinosaur bones—skin ratcheted certain
to the canyon walls of his sternum. Shirtless. There. Genderless

but not as shapeless as I appear. White then choked red with sex
with magnesium & minerals that colour me like water. Sustained
doubled by dry crackling splintering empty cellulose matter, not
once silent. Not once. I am all mouth & all teeth & all spit—sacred
tongue. I’ll take no credit for my discovery. You found me, ignited
my pain. I am all face, anguished with soot & you never have

mated with those sickly wives or wolves or the black starless part
of the night & of air-nursed sustenance & of exhaled dwellings.
Where is he now? Haven’t you heard a word I said? Frozen-holy

 

S.A. Leger is a biologist and writer from Colorado. After studying zoology and English at Colorado State University, she spent time researching the flora and fauna of Tasmania, of the islands of Puget Sound during her masters, and for the last six years, of Newfoundland. Leger currently works as a biology instructor at Memorial University.

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