by Jennifer Jerome

I wait for you. Your bright foil
flames in the sun. Ancient scales
glitter in this dark cave; I hold
fire in my belly, long tail
coiled around my body to keep
the heat until you come. I rise
above you, great wings flaring,
set the old, slow beat. You
call me cloudmaker, strike up
into the plated heart, ripe
treasure. It hurts to burn:
in the end, we consume everything.

Jennifer Jerome is a native New Yorker. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in various publications, including The Pedestal Magazine, The Comstock Review, Pebble Lake Review, Astropoetica, ChiZine, and Minnetonka Review. She loves many fruits -- particularly pomegranates, mangos, and crisp, tart apples -- but strawberries are her very favorite: big bowls of them, generously splashed with balsamic vinegar, make surviving summer possible.

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