sometimes

her lover makes her feel
like a schoolgirl
on fire drill days.

excited, heart pounding, running
through emergency exit, skipping down
countless flights of stairs, breathless, intoxicated, a rush, so much
fear and despair, and then

she turns around and walks back
into the building, safely in one piece,
no smoke, no burn, no damage. love
does not hurt, her lover says, but

sometimes
very late at night she
secretly wishes to be engulfed
in a real fire.