She saw them through the raindrops. Their figures dripped down the window of the city bus. She’d been dodging his calls for a few weeks now, the father. Their little girl splashed in the puddles with her oversized rain coat. Astrid was supposed to pick up her daughter a few weeks ago, but never showed. And there they were, splashing through the rain together, her boots on the wrong feet. That window reflecting a million times over everything that Astrid was running away from.
Astrid pulled up the hood of her coat, the bangles on her wrist chiming loudly. She slouched down into her seat, attempting to lose her body in it. She couldn’t help but overhear her daughter’s squeals of delight, Robert’s triumphant laughter. Their sounds drowned the rain and she closed her eyes, trying not to imagine what they would do later or where they were going.
An older man in a vest took the seat next to Astrid. He grunted loudly and adjusted himself in his seat, bringing her back to her body. She crossed her arms and scoffed, turning away from him as the bus raced off. She watched the distant outline of her dark hair against ever changing backdrop.
White walls with marble gray floors- no windows. It was a sanctuary on the good days and a prison cell on bad. The smell of acrylic gripped the air until it clung so tightly that your nose ignored it- a guy you slept with once who wouldn’t stop calling you. There was the lapping sound of thick paint against a canvas and the occasional awkward farting noise when the paint is squeezed from the bottle.
The class was mostly older couples in their early fifties. A few people chatted excitedly, giggling at every brush stroke they made. One in the far right corner looked like this was supposed to be their form of marriage counseling and it wasn’t working. The man’s brush strokes were lazy. He’d look over to her every few seconds as he splattered something on the page, as if to say, “See I’m doing it, happy now?” or “I hate you.” Further toward the back there was one young couple. They were drenched in tattoo art and sported all black with multiple piercings, including gages. She glanced excitedly back and forth between his page and hers. He ran his hand gently up and down her thigh. She didn’t move it.
This community art class was the most that Astrid could afford. An amateur artist herself, Astrid had always dreamt of one day learning to paint, but never got around to it until it was too late. Well, better late than never. Or rather it had to be late or it would be never.
Astrid sat in the very back corner of the room, closest to the door. Her bangles rang musically along her wrists as she hesitated from the canvas to her chin. Do something impulsive. Her first instinct was to splatter paint, but that was so cliché. She ran a line of red paint horizontally across the pristine white. She groaned. The line was blatant and unavoidable. It had no arc or curve or character.
“Everything alright over here?” The class instructor asked in her mousy voice. Her outfit a little too put together and her hair a little too well done for someone who was around paint all day.
“Yeah, I got it.” She said confidently. Everyone around her had almost finished their mediocre paintings. Almost all of them had used cold colors. She smiled, suddenly happy that she’d chosen red.
“Are you stuck, sweetheart? I could grab you another canvas if-”
“I said I got it.” Astrid suddenly had the urge to splatter paint again, but not on the canvas.
The instructor shrunk back and walked around, showering everyone’s paintings with Oo’s, Ahh’s and the occasional “that’s wonderful”. Astrid spent the remainder of class in limbo between the canvas and some kind of no man’s land. That red line taunted her. It made rules about the colors she could use and the strokes that she could make. It made rules about what the painting could be and how she could live. It mocked her collection of headbands and the way she passively made love. It told her she was a phony and when she replied, “what is this, a Salinger novel?” it said “yes and you’re a smartass too.”
By the end of class all of the older couples had something to take home and hang on their walls. Something to show off to their kids or even grandkids. The one younger couple had something to fuck in front of later. Astrid waited till they’d all merrily gone before tossing hers.
“Fuck you,” she violently shoved it into the trash.
“See you next week, Astrid.” The mousy instructor called with sympathy.
“See ya, teach.” She saluted her and slammed the door behind her.
Moonlight drenched the paved roads in a sensual glow. Her boots shuffled, lazy against the stone. There was little to hear, but for hushed conversation and the occasional car.
As she passed a small lake she saw the young couple from her class. They ran their hands over each other enthusiastically. In the dim light it looked like they morphed into one big Goth blob with four arms, four legs, and too many tattoos to count.
“Get a room.” She muttered to herself. She shuddered; they’ll probably rip each other’s piercings out when they fuck. That’ll make a funny story in the ER.
There was a little girl skipping along a few steps in front of her Mom. She smiled up at Astrid, running her hands playfully over her pink skirt. Astrid cleared her throat and hurried past.
She looked at the paint on her fingers, a mesh of red and yellow and purple stared back at her. At least she managed to paint something. Most of it had dried, but a tiny red drip on her thumb was still damp. She swirled it between her thumb and pointer finger. Closing her eyes, she felt the texture. She wanted to know all of the atoms that made it up. Where they’d come from and where they were going, which wasn’t much further. Silently she apologized that they wouldn’t get to be a part of something glorious. That they wouldn’t dry and hang in a museum for thousands of years, but drown in her sink at home. But when she painted, she wanted to own them. Whip them. Make them her bitch, make them dance for her.
“Excuse me, miss-” a raspy voice came from the ground.
Astrid stopped, opening her eyes. A man sat on a rough blanket, a canvas propped in front of him. A bucket filled with a few coins sat on the edge of the blanket. It took Astrid a few moments to notice he was blind. His hair had grey streaks through the brown. A fishing net was draped over his shoulders. He was so thin that when he hunched over it looked like his spine had surrendered to gravity. In front of him he had placed and apple and a banana on two labeled piece of cardboard only the apple was labeled “banana” and the banana as “apple”.
“I think you mixed up your display here, man.” She bent to switch the fruits.
“No, I didn’t.” One of his front teeth was missing from his smile.
“Alright.” Astrid nodded, her lower lip jutting out. She tossed a few stray coins from her pocket into his can.
“God bless you, my child.”
“Uh huh, you have a good night.”
As Astrid began to walk away she caught a glimpse of the man’s painting and froze. To say that it was exquisite would not be close to enough. To say that it was extraordinary would be giving too much credit to the word. It seemed to hold every color and every combination of them. It was made in a shape that Astrid couldn’t distinguish yet it seemed to hold every shape as though it could have been anything or everything. It swirled and blended in ways that didn’t seem possible. It leapt from the page and danced through the square and into the stars and beyond. In an instant Astrid was the painting and it was the artist, looking on its mediocre creation.
“Shit,” Astrid’s voice cracked. She cleared her throat, “What kind of paint is that, man?”
“Acrylic, you can find it at any craft store.” He lifted the bottle for her to see. She swirled the paint between her fingers. It was dry now.
“Could you, uh- where’d you learn to paint like that?”
“Oh… shit. Is he famous?”
“Sort of.” He looked down and began swirling colors on piece of cardboard.
“Who is he?”
Astrid paused, swinging her fist against her palm uncomfortably. She waited for him to say something else. He didn’t.
“Like, you’re super religious or you think you’re Jesus fuckin’ Christ?”
“The second one, unfortunately.”
She cracked her knuckles and blew out a puff of air.
“Alright well, you have a good night then.” She lazily saluted him with two fingers.
“You as well.”
When Astrid was at home that night, all cozy with her sweatpants under two soft comforters, she closed her eyes and saw that painting. And every night for the next week she dreamt of it. The dreams turned to nightmares and the infinite spectrum of colors told her that she wasn’t real.
The following week on the day of her class she was woken by a pounding knock on her apartment door. After ignoring it for a solid five minutes she mustered the strength to get out of bed. She clenched her fist and stomped toward the door, violently swinging it open.
“Where the hell have you been?”
Robert stood awkwardly in her doorway. His hair, which was usually done a little too nicely, was disheveled. The skin underneath his eyes swollen and his clothes reeked of sweat. His lanky body hung sleepily and he began flailing his arms.
“I have been calling you for weeks, I thought you died.”
“You stink, dude.”
“Are you kidding me? That’s all you have to-”
Astrid started grabbed her bag.
“You’re not leaving-”
“Look I’m trying to figure some stuff out with me- You know what, I’m not talking to you about this.”
“Is that what I’m supposed to tell your daughter? You were supposed to take her weeks-”
“I will get her in a few days, okay? Get out of my way-”
“Come on Astrid, we have to talk about this-”
“Get the hell out of my way.”
She pushed past him and headed for the door, not looking back. On her way to class she walked past the park and saw the tree where the two Gothic lovers had exchanged saliva the week before. She also saw the Jesus man. He had his things set up exactly the way that they were the previous week. Every time she blinked she saw that painting. She huffed and clenched her fist, inching her way toward him, trying to catch a glimpse of his latest creation.
“I didn’t catch your name last week.” He called as she could almost see over his shoulder.
“It’s Astrid.” She muttered.
“Astrid. Beautiful name. What can I do for you?”
“Nothing.” Her voice was hostile. He nodded.
“Ya know what, yeah actually I have a few questions for ya, bud,” she chuckled, “so you’re Jesus, right? So is this supposed to be like the second coming?”
“No, actually, I’ve returned many times and between you and me, my life as Jesus wasn’t my first.”
“Yes, I was first brought to Earth as the Egyptian God, Horus. But that life was pretty similar to my life as Jesus, born to a virgin mother, tempted in the desert, walked on water, crucified and resurrected. Quite frankly I am not sure how Christianity missed that.”
“Well why do you keep coming back then?” Astrid shuffled her feet uncomfortably.
“After I was crucified again as Jesus, my Father decided that He wanted to understand the human condition.” he spoke softly, “He didn’t feel as though I really got a very good understanding of it from my first two lives. You know, proclaiming myself as the god and messiah and being exalted by many and remembered next to him. I mean, yeah the crucifixions hurt, but I had a good childhood and everything.”
Astrid chuckled ruefully.
“Huh, your Dad has a pretty good point there. So- uh, how many lives?”
“Since Jesus, quite a few.”
“Worst and best?”
“Uh- I was a woman in North Korea during the Japanese invasion and I was a Jew in Nazi Germany during World War two.”
“Shit, which is the good one?”
He laughed, his eyes twinkled. “The Korean woman. I fell in love in that life.”
“Wow,” she sat down next to him on his blanket and crossed her legs, “I mean, no offense, but if he wants to understand so badly, why doesn’t he get off his lazy ass? Why does he put his kid through that shit?”
“That’s a good question.” He shook his head, his laughter a bit forced. He cleared his throat and began swirling paint in his tray.
“Well, I have to go to my art class, but um, I will see you around. Good talk.”
“Yes, thank you. Bless you, child.”
She walked away quickly, realizing that her skin had grown warm. She passed a van, a father was buckling his son’s seatbelt. His son was screaming uncontrollably. The father didn’t seem to notice.
The room was a prison cell today. Everything felt louder than usual, every cough and sniffle stabbing Astrid in the gut as she tried her best to forget. And as the class went on sounds only got louder until Astrid could hear every scrape of friction between the brush and the canvas. They screeched at her from every direction.
Astrid’s fist balled around her own brush as she tried to push the inspiration out of her mind. When she closed her eyes all she could see was herself, alone in a room. She was naked and all of the walls were mirrors. Each of her reflections spoke to her. The one on the ceiling said it was too late. The one below her told her she wasn’t good enough. The one behind her whispered her daughter’s name over and over. And the one in front said, “You’ll never know who I am.” She could still hear the distant sound of the brush scraping the canvas echoing behind their screams. Astrid, the real Astrid, sliced her arms all the way down and began painting the walls with her blood.
“Hello Astrid,” Astrid jumped, the instructor was standing beside her, “how are you doing this week?”
“Yeah I’m fine.” Astrid rolled her eyes as the instructor pulled up a stool next to her.
“If you don’t mind me asking, what made you decide to join our class?” She whispered.
Astrid opened her mouth to answer sarcastically and then saw her blank canvas. She sighed.
“Something happened in my life a few years back, ya know something kind of life changing. And since then I’ve felt kind of stuck. Like I haven’t been moving forward and I sort of gave up on figuring out who I am. I just sort of put it on hold for this… thing.”
“Mhmmm…” She nodded encouragingly.
“So I don’t know, I started to get scared that it was never going to happen. That I’d just keep losing myself until I was gone.”
Astrid cleared her throat. The instructor looked at Astrid, her eyes narrowed.
“Well, I would say, judging by your art, that whatever this thing is that happened, it is already a part of who you are.”
Astrid sat for a moment, the sound of the paint brushes being drowned out by the sound of her quickening breath.
“No.” She whispered.
Two men were smoking outside of the building when Astrid burst out. She ran down the street, coughing partly from the smoke and partly because she hadn’t been able to breath for a while.
She hadn’t been able to sit through class the whole class. The clock ticked and she’d closed her eyes and seen everyone’s paintings in her head. Tick. Then she’d seen the Jesus man’s painting. Tock. She’d seen her daughter. Tick. She couldn’t pick up her brush.
The park was deserted except for the Jesus man. Astrid stopped for a moment, letting her breathing slow.
A cardinal flew to the top of the Goth couple tree. Four or five baby birds leapt as she arrived and she fed them gladly from her own mouth. She hopped about, kissing each of her babies with the worms she’d brought. The tree shrouded her. She stood at the helm of the nest, staring down at Astrid.
Astrid dusted off and strolled over casually to where the Jesus man sat. He was hunched over his painting, smiling to himself. She sighed and sat next to him.
“So um… do you still love him? Ya know um, your dad? After all of it.”
He sighed, stopping the brush on the canvas.
“I know I should say yes, but I don’t know. The longer I’ve been here, the more- human- I am- I’ve sinned. Many times, now. I’ve resented him, too. I still know who I am, but after this is all over I don’t think he’ll take me back.”
The sound of ducks quacking distantly in the lake. She leaned over toward his painting. It was different- different colors, different shape, but it seemed to still hold everything somehow as though was the same painting.
“Okay um…” she groaned loudly and sighed, “Maybe he’s pissed at you because he had his own thing going, his own fucking- thing. And then you show up and now he’s gotta- I don’t know, drop everything about who he’s supposed to be or what he wanted to do and make some room. Maybe he just thinks you’ll be better off on your own, with your D- on Earth.”
She cleared her throat and scooted around on the blanket so that she didn’t have to look at him.
“Honestly, Astrid, I wish I knew. It would make getting through this- everything- so much easier. I just wish I knew-Him.”
The two of them sat together- Jesus man and Mom- until the sun came up the following morning. They didn’t talk much, she spent most of the night watching him paint. And when she said good bye, she meant it.
That morning when she went home she pulled out her easel. She poured out paint and violently swirled it around. Closing her eyes, she slapped some colors on the canvas sporadically. One color from the edge, one color from the middle, they might be the same color- she wasn’t sure. She opened her eyes. It was a mess. The colors didn’t go, all of the paint was on the left side of the page except for one or two stray lines- it looked like a child had painted it. She tossed the canvas out the window.
She slammed her body onto the arm chair in her living room. And she sat, for a long time. For some of that time she tapped her foot, bit her nails and every once in a while she’d give the chair a heavy punch, harming her hand. For some she sighed loudly and groaned and hung her head. And for the rest she cried silently, she said goodbye to part of herself.
Astrid walked outside and retrieved the painting that she’d thrown. The phone rested between her shoulder and ear as she, grudgingly, hung up her ridiculous piece of art. Robert, she said, can I pick up Ariella today? I want to show her something I painted. Outside of the window, the sun was obstructed by pristine white clouds. The star was invisible and the clouds glowed beneath its rays.
There are so many people in the world that struggle with appearance based issues. I would simply like to offer up the way that I have come to view “image” as an ulterior outlook.
If I had to sum it up in one sentence it would be this: My body is nothing and my body is everything.
In all reality, my body is literally meaningless. I have done nothing to either earn or be punished with my appearance- therefore it is not a reflection of my morality- one cannot be judged to be “good” because they look that way or “bad” for the same reasons. My body is not of my own design. I didn’t select my eye color, my body type, my birth marks- so how can those things constitute who I am? That’s like handing someone a random book and using that book to judge what type of literature that person enjoys. That is why clothes and hairstyles and things of that nature are important- they are consciously chosen- so they can be an indication of anything from someone’s personality to their financial status; but the raw material is only inheritance. That is the only thing that your body can indicate- your history- where your family came from- and that is all.
Why is it problematic to focus on appearance? Well, these stigmas about physical attraction exist with multiple purposes. Firstly as aesthetic enjoyment- the same way one would feel affection toward sunsets or flowers. This affection is simple; love is not simple. That is why, though few understand this, physical attraction is galaxies away from love. Another reason is that it is a reflection of how we see or want to see ourselves; our desirability being based off of how desirable the mate is who finds us desirable. There is nothing more selfish than this- using another human to affirm your own thoughts about yourself. This is selfish; love is not selfish- therefore, again, this deters us from finding a real kind of love.
However, our bodies can be something remarkably beautiful if we accept them for what they truly are, which is simply a motive of transportation. There is a clear distinction between your body and who you are- or your soul. The body is what allows the soul to be part of the physical world. It allows you to feel the chill of the air or to wave at a person passing by- essentially it allows your soul to know other souls. That is what can make physical relationships so beautiful. Two human souls can never truly come in contact with one another except through the medium of the body. When I touch someone, I am not touching them, yet the body allows them or their soul to feel it. Without the body, we would never be able to connect with another soul in this way or in any way at all.
So, to everyone who is constantly worrying about their appearance- about their weight or their height or their nose or whatever it may be- I just want to say: You are wasting your life. That may sound harsh, but think about how much time you waste nitpicking those things that you dislike about your appearance. If you don’t get over those things, you are going to spend the rest of your life fighting against yourself. This is not a “don’t worry, you are beautiful,” speech because the truth is, it doesn’t matter if you are beautiful. Your thighs don’t matter. Your eyes don’t matter. Your teeth, your abs, your feet- they are completely meaningless.
Not to sound morbid, but your body is simply a car- one day you will stop and get our and the car will be left empty and abandoned. Knowing that, why waste your whole life pimping out your car and nitpicking all of its imperfections? It’s not ours to keep and if that’s all we ever worry about and act on; what did we live for?
I realize that the world that I am advocating for will never exist- people will never forget about appearance completely. I’d only like to encourage you to stop looking in the mirror trying to see who you are because honestly you never will.
Because I look at the world everyday and I would do anything- absolutely anything- to, just for a moment, experience the ecstasy of being the things that I see. To feel the rush of being the drop of water at the top of the fountain at the Point. To be light as an autumn leaf drifting through the cool breeze. To be as soft and inviting as my bed at home. To be as dark and powerful as the weather just before a storm hits. To be a whisper; or a scream. To be snow, lit beneath a street light. To be the light from the sun- going so much farther than I will ever go. To be a mirror- the ultimate form of people watching. To be the wind- telling birds to fly and making humans want to.
I often stand atop Mt. Washington at night and gaze at all of the city lights. I pretend each light is a human life. I watch as night goes- some go on and some go off. They are like man-made stars. I see their reflections in the river and it looks like the lights there are from another city; beneath us- keeping us afloat. I stand there for hours and tell myself that if I jump off right now, I won’t die. Halfway through the fall my body will shatter into a billion shards. The wind will catch my remains and I will be spread out until I become the city; until I become this sight- I want to sacrifice myself to it.
That is the most beautiful tragedy that is being human. I am trapped by my body and I want, with every fiber of my being, to be something else, yet only as me could I understand that beauty and have that longing. I will always know what it feels like to be these things more than they ever can, yet I will never stop wanting.
She made herself be completely human.
Let’s be honest, there are absolutely no certainties in life I could die tomorrow for all I know.
I’ve never been one of those girls that planned their entire lives- their wedding, their future husband, their kid’s names, etc. That’s just not who I am.
In my opinion, you can’t live life as though there are guarantees. Don’t schedule everything or set outrageous goals for yourself or make concrete plans for your future. Having too many expectations will only lead to disappointment and it takes away from the here and now, which is the only thing we are truly given- the only guarantee that we have.
My six words mean that through my journey in life I plan to come to terms with my own humanness. That may sound odd or complicated, but I basically just mean that I will learn to understand and accept what it means to be human- all of the limitations, all of the beauty, all of the uncertainty, all of the wonder- and by the end I hope to have a concise opinion on what we really are.
I used the word made because that will be part of the journey- fully knowing humanity involves accepting that parts of being human that I cannot change- both the good and the bad; the beautiful and the terrifying. For example, I am one of those people that have never overcome that childish wish of wanting to fly- if anyone asked me what I wanted most in the world that would still be my answer. Yet, my body was not designed to reside in the clouds and that’s a part of humanity that I’ve had to accept. However, my mind was made to have that capability- we can fly in our dreams. Why do killers kill? Why are we so touched by music? That is what my future holds, answering questions that I have and forming my own opinions on life as we live it.
What I also meant with my six words was that my future will be never letting any moment go to waste. I may be young, but I have always been very aware of the world around me. I genuinely take pleasure in the weirdest/simplest things that you would see every day of your life. It may sound cheesy, but I am honestly just happy to be alive, and I feel that happiness surging through me every second of everyday. It is sometimes so powerful that it hurts; so powerful that I tear up. I don’t know why I am like this, but I know that awareness is not going to go away. I know that I will continue to drink in every smell, every taste, every touch, every moment that being human, being alive, has granted me.
The use of the word completely in my six words was also deliberate, because in my opinion these are the things that would make a life complete. Not how much money you make or how successful you are or how known you are or if you marry or have children or fall in love or any of those things that we are programmed to think we need. Life is living every second aware of yourself, in awe of the world around you, and thankful that you have the intellectual capacity to feel that beauty.
I honestly believe that the worst thing that you could ever do to another human being is to rape them. I think that rape is worse than any other form of torture imaginable and that it is even worse than death. I would rather be killed than be raped.
It is one thing to inflict pain. It is one thing to stick a knife in someone’s gut and twist it around until they are coughing up blood. It is one thing to pour kerosene on someone’s face and light them up. It is one thing to cut someone’s eyes out and watch them bleed to death. It is only pain- it is impersonal; the vulnerability that exists is only fear and we still have a home.
That is what our bodies essentially are- our home. Sure we may have a home with our families and such, but the fact of the matter is that the body is the one place in the whole wide universe that is solely and indefinitely ours. No one else can raise your hand for you or breath for you or think with you- every curl of your toes or crack of your knuckles or tear running down your face is completely and only you.
When you feel someone hold your hand or touch your shoulder-that is the wind beating against your shutters. There is only one way inside of a home- through the door. We keep our doors covered every day and refer to them as “private”. Why do you suppose we do that? I like to believe that it is for the same reason that we wouldn’t normally let a stranger into our home- trust. Cheesy as it may sound, we want to know that the person we are letting in will treat our home with respect, care, love and it has to be our choice- we have to be in control of that decision- otherwise that person may not.
Rape is not like getting stabbed or shot or breaking bones- that is all outside of the home. We cover our doors- they are special- only for the people that we choose to let inside. Rape is breaking in those doors, bursting inside and ripping apart everything that someone has built.
When you undergo any other type of torture it will only elicit one core emotion- pain. Rape is indeed painful, but it is pain that specifically occurs in the one place in your body where the highest form of pleasure humanly possible can be achieved; at the height of human emotion; at a human being’s most biologically sensitive point. With rape, someone has the ability to amplify any and all emotions- from pain to pleasure to fear to all things. That’s closer control of a person than can ever be achieved through anything else.
The body may be a home, but it can just as easily be a prison sentence. The body may serve as the house of the soul, but it can also trap it. The body is how the soul is able to integrate with the natural world- so when someone is raped it isn’t just their body at stake. The soul and mind cannot just fly away- leave the body behind and escape. The being that lives inside of those eyes, that mouth, that private door- that is what you’re having- that is what you’re taking.
We have progressed past animals in the sense that we are aware of our own complexity- using concepts created through our culture which reside inside of our minds, we can make things as significant and beautiful as they can possibly be. The idea of physical intimacy is one such concept. As I said, the soul is trapped- so even if two souls fall in love with one another they can never truly come in contact. Therefore, we as a human race have created this idea of physical intimacy- where being with someone in a sexual way has the possibility of signifying so much more than just a means to reproduce or obtain physical pleasure.
Sex is the closest that two human souls can come to touching- rape is the closest you can come to violating the soul.
“Human beings are most beautiful
when they know the beauty in simply being.”
I’ve never heard a name;
I hear sounds
and watch people turn
some have sorer necks
some mouths dance
for hours and others
If I had a name
it would dance for you
whisper for you
call you to look-
but would never yield
you pleasure in
My sound flows
off the tongue-
no dance, no challenge
It is a noise
that I did not choose
I did not choose the planets
aligned at my birth-
yet destiny is stuffed
down my throat.
The Universe is bigger
than telling you about
Sounds are better than
telling you who
But if I had a name
it would guide you
even if you closed
and it would hold you
until you were warm
and dripping- wax.
When I look into
my sound, I do not see
my face. It is a
ghost that I would never
trust to hold me.
I did not place
my birthmarks on
my skin like I did
my tattoos. My sound is
the same. I have never
heard a name.
But if I had a name
it would echo from the mouth
to the wall
to the world
and so much further.
If I had a name
it would sound like fire-
it would burn your ears
to hear it;
it would sting your tongue
And it would be beautiful
from far away.