The Domestication of Fire

Every night I search for the first place I ever slept but I can never find it


When I was a child I was given three dollhouses, I still have them of course. I stare at their outlines every night before I fall asleep.

The first one I remember as bare but when my grandmother became ill this became a place to put things we didn’t know where else to and now it’s difficult to shut the front door.


The second was always my favourite.

I left the Christmas decorations up all year because no one told me I couldn’t. I covered the outside in wrapping paper so that I wouldn’t have to throw it away.

The past may never be a place we can live but if we are careful we can play with it like a toy that is too clean to touch

To play with a house is to play with fire

Fire tells us that we’re home


I was taught that we most love the people who feed us

At thirteen, I ate only pretty things, then I cried that I couldn’t look at them any more.

We eat in the same room we keep fire and so do our toys

The same room that could burn down the whole house

If I wanted it to

We most love the people who feed us, so I force-fed my dolls

Sugar sparkles but plastic lasts forever


My dolls never slept in their house. They sleep with me and I pretended the weight from my duvet was another person

It’s hard to love something so fragile as a china doll

She never flinches but I know she would cry if I lost her

We love and hate each other but we all live here alone


Every night I search for my first sleeping place but it doesn’t exist anymore.


The third house is incomplete, it looks like someone is half moved in

The whole thing is light enough to lift above my head

Maybe I will have time to play with it again someday

This house is watched over by a Princess Leia figure who perched on the roof like a guardian angel except now I carry her around with me in case I ever lose my way home.

What are you looking for?