Peer Review by acrosstheskysky (United States)

Below, you'll see any text that was highlighted with comments from the reviewer.

Tap on comment to view. Using a mouse?

Hover over comments to view. On a touch device?

carbon monoxide

By: loveletterstosappho


for you,
i would have lit the world ablaze
but the oceans were too vast
and my matches too weak.

i lit myself ablaze instead. 

i nailed boards to every window within me,
closed off all the grates,
slammed shut every door, 
and turned on the flame of each stove. 

i opened the valves of every gas flame,
blasted my heating as high as it could go and then some,
started my car engine only to let it run in my gut. 

i doused myself in gasoline,
stacked charcoal among self-hatred,
struck a match along your spine,
and set alight a bonfire in my heart. 

from the fire seeped your presence,
silent killer whom i adored. 
carbon monoxide.
colorless, odorless, tasteless,
and yet so beloved to me
that i willingly lit myself ablaze
just to feel your warmth curling around me. 

to feel your poison in my veins,
binding tight to the hemoglobin of my blood,
stealing away my oxygen. 

every alarm went off,
blaring warnings and red flags. 
'smoke! smoke! smoke!' cried my fire alarms. 
'carbon monoxide! carbon monoxide! carbon monoxide!' cried my CO alarms. 
but they were loud and i didn't want to listen, so
i took out the batteries. 
i didn't care. 

i lit myself ablaze instead. 

the symptoms didn't hide. 
i didn't care. 

loss of vision. 

i lit myself ablaze instead. 

memory problems. 

i didn't care. 

loss of balance. 

i didn't care. 
i didn't care. 
i didn't care. 


i didn't care i didn't care i didn't care i didn't care i didn't care

coordination difficulties. 

i didn't care
i didn't care
i didn't care i didn't care i didn't care
i didn't care i didn'tcareididn'tcareididn'tcareididn'tcareididn'tcareididn'tcareididn't-

loss of consciousness. 

i didn't care. 

i lit myself ablaze instead. 

please don't do anything i listed, whether you take it literally or figuratively. figuratively, it's not at all emotionally healthy. literally, it WILL ACTUALLY CAUSE CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING. WHICH IS REALLY BAD. AVOID IT. PRACTICE FIRE SAFETY. AND ALSO EMOTIONAL SAFETY. JUST PLEASE TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. 

sorta maybe for PureHeart's #fire contest? i'm a day late and i didn't start off writing this FOR that contest it just happened to involve fire because that's what causes carbon monoxide to build up or be released and i wanted to write about CO

Peer Review

my favorite things about this piece were probably 1. "i lit myself ablaze instead" and 2. the metaphor that compared you to a house. 1. "i lit myself ablaze instead" was always placed as its own stanza and that along with the repetition made it so strong and compelling?? 2. the house metaphor was perfect. you described boarding up the windows, blasting up the heating, running a car engine without driving it anywhere, fire and CO2 alarms--such a brilliant way to write? it kept it mysterious as a metaphor yet at the same time i knew exactly what you were talking about. wow.

i actually love the balance between what you know and what you don't. the powerful ending gives it closure but doesn't tell me everything, which i like!

Reviewer Comments

i just really love this metaphor? you used it SO WELL. great job!