Striking Matches

Justice Rebmann

“To begin, begin.”

— William Wordsworth

My words trip and tap and clack,

but won’t click.

They stu-tter and stu mb l e,
into-each-other, into bubbles, push and pop,
flicker and go out— but not quite
yet— I won’t let them go out,
my little barking flames wild

with a desire to sing

words I can’t put to paper,

only seem to think,

for when I do, they shatter,

but maybe it’s the


that matters.

Maybe it’s the sound that matters.

Flick-er, flick-er

burst bright—

but back again into the night

they fly, elusive. I fight for the ones that
stick, but my matches stick together like
candy and when I twist and pull, they
won’t come apart, like

the yearnings in me

that fight to be heard,

drowning in the narrow tubes of my heart,
and maybe I just need to start.

With sticky candy sticks

and a sticky heart,

until it all melts away into caramel,

and I’ll wonder why I waited so long,
when it really just took that long
to be okay with words

that bark

and shiver

before they begin

to spark.

About the Author

is a second-year student at OSU studying French and Creative Writing. Her three great loves are art, writing, and language, and after graduating, she hopes to work in translation and write fiction. She is the recipient of a Gold Key in creative writing from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. You can find her artwork on display at the Aspen Coffee on Western in Stillwater, where you might run into her nursing a lavender latte.


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