Girl on Girl on Fire

Late Onset Adolescence, Breck Hickman

On fire I’m unfuckable, I’m war

bridegroom, the knife piloting

the wound. I’m the eye 

bleeding sight. The screen scabbing

over me, the camera angled

for entry. I hook you

like a lure. I storyboard origin:

where a girl grows from god’s side 

wound & my mouth 

mentors her pleasure. Turn down

your eyes. I’ve little-spooned

the moon & screwed the stars    

back into my skull. Whoever 

said fear is a foothold 

has never climbed

me. Mount an axe where the sky

should be. Mountains are named

for their view, what you want to see

atop me. Expect to bleed

today. I trade my feet

for a landscape of losses: 

a sea made of teeth, your nipples    

roaming my mouth. My thumbs 

wet thorns, my threefold thighs

& double-dog hunger, each barkless  

tree I skinned alive with my teeth. God

bills me for my birth & I pay

back with my life. I’m alive

now that I’m dead, I look

like my mother’s mother, the one

who skipped her face like a stone

across three seas, the one I receive

like a bullet to the bone, my breasts blown

glass. My knock-out ass. You can’t

convince me history isn’t

pornography. I have a body 

but nowhere to bury it. 

I have a harness but no horse

to breed for it. What we call

tame you call talent. What

you call country I call 

no one picking up. Tonight

my mother shipwrecks my fantasies, rains

my bed into a riverbank, turns

my girl back into a pyre, my body back

to a movie birth scene, false 

blood & stagelight, my mother calling cut 

her out of me, the camera 

my father & I

its foundling. 

About the Author

Kristin Chang · Sarah Lawrence College

Kristin Chang is a junior Ethnic Studies, Chinese, and Writing student at Sarah Lawrence College. Her work can also be found in The Journal, Black Warrior Review, Nashville Review, and BOAAT. “Girl on Fire” first appeared in The Adroit Journal.

About the Artist

Breck Hickman · University of Minnesota

Breck Hickman received her BFA from the University of Minnesota in 2018. Her work has also been shown at the Red Garage, the Larson Gallery, the Nash Gallery, and her university’s Gender and Sexuality Center. “Late Onset Adolescence” first appeared in The Tower Magazine. More of her work can be found at or on Instagram @breck_the_ok.

No Comments

Leave a Reply