Small Blaze in a Roaring Fire
by Amalou Ouassou (Morocco)
Audio: "Small Blaze in a Roaring Fire," read by Amalou Ouassou
My grandpa’s house rose up
in smoke that domed like psychedelic
mushrooms or dark hot air balloons
towards the horizon, pink as the flames.
It used to be at the edge of the forest.
We think it was a lit cigarette
flicked off the wrist of a driver, racing past,
coughing up puffs from engine and mouth.
It must have fallen on the crisp yellow
grass and dry December weeds
that have seen few drops of rain
since the month of July.
Must have set it ablaze like a witch’s burning
at the stake, after a countdown
of crackling grass blades that inflated
into the roar of witnessing branches.
Witness the cries of the woods and the house.
The walls turned to ash.
The furniture turned to ash.
My grandpa’s only picture from when he was a lad
is somewhere on the ground, turned to ash.
The cold distance that stretched
like melting Antarctica between my house
in Rabat, and Australian woods,
and Californian hells rose like mountains of ash,
flung into my mouth with the weight
of years churning with fuel that
darkened the clouds. The clouds now loom like acid
threats. And even the acid drops
won’t deign to fall on the branch
that the pheasant lost,
on the glade that the toad and cactus lost,
on the voice-filled house, now voiceless
and dead and lost,
on tomorrow's parched up tongue
hanging for a lick of the sky’s offering
like a weary dog waiting for its bad ending.
Amalou Ouassou, 19, is a poet and writer from Rabat, Morocco. He was a part of the 2021 Between the Lines: Peace and the Writing Experience program.
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2/3/23, 12:21 AM
Reading this story was realistic and relatble
2/2/23, 11:27 AM
"I collected little glimpses of the north to hoard away for the future, like treasure" is such a beautiful line!
2/2/23, 11:23 AM
What a fascinating piece!
2/2/23, 5:21 AM
One of my favorite pieces ever published on Write the World!
2/2/23, 4:41 AM
Well done Everett on this powerful piece. I hope you continue to write!
2/2/23, 4:40 AM
Well done Genevieve - what a beautiful and evocative piece of writing!
1/17/23, 2:15 AM
This is so beautiful
1/16/23, 3:52 PM
I love all of it. It’s so real and so many feelings are there.
1/5/23, 6:02 PM
This is amazing. Do not ever stop. That is really inspirational, the whole writing piece made me want to help.
1/3/23, 7:19 PM
This article was absolutely amazing! I am so thankful to live in a country where periods and sex are fairly normalized, but I will never forget to educate myself about the lack of education others have. It pains me to know that in countries like India, girls are still put down about what they where and how they act. It was very brave of you to share your voice, and I commend you endlessly for that.
12/8/22, 7:25 PM
I really love this! I, myself, am not black, but I know of a lot of good black people. Sadly, I will admit, at one time, I used to think of a black community filled with gangs and poverty. But I know now how perfectly capable it is to live together if only we got rid of the stereotype that is so, so wrong. I do hope you accomplish this. This will great for our country.
Sorry but can't share the name
12/7/22, 10:40 AM
Basically I don't know how to react.
All the conservatives should be reading this.........