Chloe Orrock is an actor and a newcomer onto the poetry and spoken word scene. She is based in London and is currently training at LAMDA. Previously she has won the Farrago School’s Out Slam 2015, the LAMDA Original Poetry Performance Competition 2014, and was a commended Foyle Young Poet of the Year.
shh. The lighter hisses like a rattlesnake,
flares into flame,
a tiny sun to melt the prittstick off your wings.
You’re close enough to touch, you think,
swiping your finger through the blade of heat, quick enough that it doesn’t cut.
Always been a bit of a pyromaniac, haven’t you,
I remember you at school, burning
bits of paper, curling
brown and crumbling between your fingertips.
I can’t tell why you like fire,
why you like flapping around up there in the dangerous heat,
what force pulls you up towards that furnace in the sky.
Is it really because it sucks you in, like a moth to a neon light
tugging you in to a burning brightness like the gates of heaven opening
then – tzap – the fizzle of frying insect,
or is it just part of your whole wing-thing you’ve got going on?
Acting as bird-like as you can –
a conscious bid to show us all you’re free?
Or perhaps you’re just curious as to how high you can fly,
or what the world looks like from up there in the sky.
What I do know is that the concrete’s hard.
And the white spots you can just make out
are chewing gum not stars.
And when your wings dissolve, and you drop fast like a falcon with no brakes,
your brains will splatter out across it and your bones will turn to milkshake.
And if I stand beneath you with my arms stretched open wide,
and you plummet downwards like a comet through the sky,
I know I can’t exactly catch you.
I’ll just get smashed into the concrete too.
I should have grabbed your foot before you ever went so high.
I wish you could have found a reason not to need to fly.