I feed the furnace in my gut

tossing the nicknames of my youth

into its maw until it is full

but it is never satisfied

feasting on a pitch black source

of slurs I have pried from the foundation

with bloodied knuckles

until the heat pushes the cracks

in the floor up into my brain and

the roar of the coals becomes a whisper

pouring those words back into me

until I can not tell furnace from body