The Firefighter’s Daughter

Kristin Garth

He’ll tell you a story to save your life:

(firefighter father who frames it as love)

skin pulled from bones of addict or housewife,

dead flesh soils, same, the palms, gold pigskin gloves.


He will show the gloves charred black by cooked skin

from bodies baked inside bedsheets who thought

a candle romantic; flickers were friends —

unlovable children nobody taught


the way he teaches you terror, preschool

nightmares, flame fraught. Fifth grade, read library books.

about death at the stake. You’re certain you’ll

perish this way — sin, some mistake. He took


your world beneath covers, burned his childwife.

He told you a story to save your life.


Kristin Garth is a Pushcart & Best of the Net nominated sonnet stalker. Her poetry has stalked magazines like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Anti-Heroin Chic, Former Cactus, Occulum, Luna Luna, & many more.  She has three other chapbooks: Pink Plastic House and Good Girl Games (Maverick Duck Press), Pensacola Girls (Bone & Ink Press, Sept 2018).  She has another forthcoming, Puritan U (Rhythm & Bones Lit March 2019). Her full length, Candy Cigarette, is forthcoming April 2019 (The Hedgehog Poetry Press). Follow her on Twitter: (@lolaandjolie), and her website (