Shadows, hovering near the
Pinched corners of mouth and eyes,
Signal me.
Subtly they whisper: 
She's afraid to get burned.
Have you been burned before?

To be consumed then extinguished
Leaves a pile of soot to sweep away.
The fire in my heart cannot be quenched,
Constant, pure, and blazing brightly,  
Red-gold tongues, comforting to touch.

Exposed before you, now
We share those knots of apprehension.
There's nothing to fear,
No inconsistent motives here.
Life's struggles are more than mere
Matters of survival faced alone.

Let me keep you safe
With affection's gentle wraps, as
A cashmere scarf wound 'round and 'round.
Insulated, as bakers' hands in oven mitts,
Against those painful burns.
Loved at last, in my arms.