• Marías at Sampaguitas

Poem by Juliette Sebock

Hellfire This isn't the first time I've seen

buildings at their height spike into flames

before collapsing under the weight

of smoke and sparks.

And though this is so much farther away

it feels so much more real

than a plane crashing into a field.

I ask myself why and I wonder

if it's because I spent so much time

in high school studying French.

I conclude it's probably based on a trip

that should have been,

playing Scottish, Spanish, Parisienne

from an airport outside of Reykjavik.

A friend of a friend laments the loss

of physical reminders of memories

she will probably one day lose.

I mourn missing what might have been,

something becoming entirely too common

even as the days grow brighter.

I wonder if the bells will still toll.

I wonder if the world will ever be free again.

I wonder about Frollo's temptation,

thinly-veiled lust

behind a smokescreen of repulsion

at the thought, the threat of sin.

I don't know if I'll get that chance again.

I don't know if we'll all just burn.

I wonder until the sparks

move into my head,

until cardinal-cloaked monks

close in around me.

I wonder if Quasimodo made it out okay.

I dream of gargoyles grabbing spires

like Superman saving a screaming civilian

trapped beneath a car

or a vampire stopping impact with

a press of his fist.

This isn't the first time I confuse

dreams and imaginings

with fears and realities.

Juliette Sebock is the author of Mistakes Were Made and has work in publications including Royal Rose Mag and Cauldron Anthology. She is the editor-in-chief of Nightingale & Sparrow and runs a lifestyle blog, For the Sake of Good Taste. When she isn't writing (and sometimes when she is) she can be found with a cup of coffee and her cat, Fitz. She can be reached at her website and across social media at @juliettesebock. She is a regular contributor of Marías at Sampaguitas.

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