the matchstick girl

the matchstick girl is of no use
in a time like this, when it is
such a transient flame she carries
in those mitten-wrapped hands,
shivering. she shakes upon striking,
and it’s not helpful to the cause.

no, a fire for this task must
cement in her hand, holding
more steady than that which
will glow purple and singe soon,
no quaking clink of sticks like
xylophone chimes in her pocket
will remedy the urge. she looks
around. she sees a man
puffing smoke in clouds around
his beard. he stands in snow.

please, sir, may I borrow your light?

there is a particular place on herself
she burns when it becomes dark.

it’s a strange painting they make,
those two, standing nearby and
smelling of branded wrist skin and ash.


Linda BattsonLinda Battson is a writer and artist living in Austin, Texas. She spends her days selling pens and her nights engaged with those she loves. Linda enjoys authentic conversation, participating in the mental health discussion, and using writing as a tool to navigate the chaos of life. She is currently publishing her second book of poetry.