photo of matches in a matchbox

Ember by Tomas Moniz

“Do you want to see a match burn twice,” my father asked me one day. We were sitting on the couch. We were alone, a rare occasion. Knowing my father, I was certain it was a trap, but said, “ok” anyway. I craved the attention. He took out his matchbook, something he always had on him, sliding it from the pack of Kools. He struck a match and it sizzled into a flame. He let it burn. A match burning is a beautiful thing. Like a fist unfurling. I watched, waiting. He looked at me and then back at the burning match. I heard him inhale and blow it out. Then without hesitating he touched the ember, orange and glowing, to my forearm. “Get it,” he laughed, “it burned twice.” It’s a trick that can only work once. I often wonder how long he waited to play it on me. I marvel at his patience, his determination every time I touch the scar.

Tomas Moniz is an anarcho-chicano writer/teacher with a pleasant disposition, a fetish for bad romance novels, and a tendency to vandalize corporate property.

Lead image“Swan Vesta Matches” (via Flickr user Leo Reynolds)