Poetry Suite by Amber Flame – Part 2

Editor Sam Preminger, Poetry, February 20th, 2020

"i fear love makes a domesticated pet of me"


Poetry by Amber Flame
Read Part 1 of the Poetry Suite here.


epistle: a reply to friend still traveling

dear                         ,

thank you for those pictures! what
a breathtaking view – i’ve always wanted to go
exploring there. tell me more!
how long are you traveling? where
do you go next? fill me in on all your exploits!

i fear love makes a domesticated pet of me.



                          German (n.):

                      1. pain at the idea of staying home
              2. home made in strange, unattained places


i offer my pillow,
how it holds me
unwilling. how
bones ache there,

without dampness
from rain.
without any particular

where your marrow
should be.

beloved. you are pleasing and


does it matter
where i may go tomorrow
while i rest between
your feet tonight?




cinquain: apprehension

don’t go.

i won’t say it

i will not come with you.

you and i make no invitation

of love.



                          Danish (adj.):

                      1. a demeanor that is warm, comfortable
                                  2. home-like


you open, i rise to sip
from the round bowl
of your navel.


yet in my gullet remains
a scratching.

not sated.




                          Boro, a language of India (v.):

          1. one who feels bittersweet about a love affair that won’t last
                        2. one who is loving for the last time

growing in me

where once a full cup,
  wine and milk.

aril of pomegranate.
  crush of honeycomb.

a jealous doubt
  takes root.


Header image courtesy of Kehinde Wiley. 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.