Poetry Suite by Amber Flame – Part 1

Editor Sam Preminger, Poetry, February 18th, 2020

"every day now, reassure them: it is wonder."


Poetry by Amber Flame


                          Chinese (v.):

                      1. to meet because of fate
              2. to be inexorably drawn into an interaction with no destined outcome


animal me can taste
you coming. how
bone popped
crackling staccato
jaw in slow
teeth unsheathing.
the puncture;
hip and rib

your smells on my tongue
lay thick in wait.




                          Norwegian (v.):

                  1. catching one’s breath in throat when thinking of a lover
                    2. mundane life being overtaken by euphoric glow


each day now,
everyone scents me
primed. obtainable.
flushed husk.

sapped bones.
we begin:
eyes brimming with each other,
bruised mouths

swollen in greeting.

reassure them: it is wonder.
the sun, all the stars,
how they shine so brightly.

beloved, overgrown tongue.


of wet and blood.




                          Portuguese (n.):

                  1. the act of fondling the head or neck intimately
                    2. to entangle oneself in a lover’s hair


spin me your dreams.
curl your distant
longing round my thighs,



answer this:
will i be
where you go


            you, fallen
            to the
            of my
i seek
in your hair’s
tangled vines.

mouth nomad;
you, oasis pooling

with every rise





                          Urdu (n.):

                          1. arrogance in being the object of one’s affection
                    2. the surety of feeling completely adored








lover calls me space and sky,
charts constellations.
across my limbs

in this terrain of riches i
am oceanic.


Read Part 2 of the Poetry Suite here.

Header image courtesy of Agent X. To view his artist feature, go here.

Amber Flame is an award-winning writer, performer, composer, activist and educator who works extensively with both youth and adults. Amber Flame’s work has garnered artistic merit residencies with Hedgebrook, The Watering Hole, Vermont Studio Center, and Yefe Nof. Flame’s writing has been published in diverse arenas, including Winter Tangerine, Nailed Magazine, City Arts Magazine, Mom Egg Review, The Dialogist, Split This Rock, Black Heart Magazine, Sundress Publications, FreezeRay, Redivider Journal and more. A 2016 & 2017 Pushcart Prize nominee, Jack Straw Writer Program, Artist Support Program, and New Media Gallerist, Flame was also a recipient of the CityArtist grant from Seattle’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. Amber Flame’s first full-length poetry collection, Ordinary Cruelty, was published through Write Bloody Press in 2017. Flame served as the 2017-2019 poetry Writer-in-Residence for Hugo House in Seattle, and is a queer Black single mama just one magic trick away from growing her unicorn horn.


All of the above poetry is from Flame’s forthcoming collection, apocrifa, with Red Hen Press.



Sam Preminger

Sam Preminger is a Portland-based poet. Their work has appeared throughout various publications and they hold an MFA from Pacific University.