There is Such a Fire


This is a love poem from one deaf, disabled lesbian to another disabled woman about shared pain and experience and the profound capacity for beauty in bodies considered undesirable by others.



There is Such a Fire






There is such a Fire
Written by Wren Alman

I walk through the world with my head bowed
Your words come to me like dandelions through the cracked concrete
Desperately blooming
We move together, eyes down
Anxious to look away, afraid to meet one another’s eye

To say ‘excuse me’ as an admonition of need as we move through this world
To say ‘could you repeat that’ like an admittance of guilt
To say ‘the blanket you are weaving in your mind is only half colored with our words, and half with your impression of us.’

The strike of my cane like lightning against the ground in a quiet place
My body the tree, smoldering inside
You another tree, singed from the heat
Our canopies are untouching, shy of one another, of sharing shock and pain and fire

I did not know what it was to love someone like you
Even if I could have heard the gospel, no one was preaching it. To me, to us.
Bodies that are strange and beautiful and not what they want

But yours is a body so lovely in the way it bends.
Like wisteria blooming, wrapped around your Self
You are purpled and climbing ever upwards
And when you touch me, I don’t need to hear the gospel because it is in that
Uneven rise and fall of your chest

The stinging smell of tiger balm and the sensuous coil of your body
seated in a black and metal throne
The touch of your curled hand against my face. The tremble in mine.
The gusty press of words against my ear.

Lightning struck the tree that is my body, your body
The thunder is my cane, your chair, the storm is the silence where there might be sound, the twist and bend of your body
And there is such a fire, shared between us.


Wren Alman, “There is Such a Fire,” RIT/NTID Dyer Arts Center , accessed April 14, 2024,