The Burning of Fry Street

SCOTT RAY

We smelled the smoke before we saw the fire
the night in late July when Fry was burned
to help some Houston equity acquire
a city block. The locals say it turned
forever then, that night. The powerlines
recoiled and snapped to briefly unenclose
the sky with smoke, a preview of inclines
designed by architects with grandiose
ideas for mixed-use-zoning. Dazzled by
the glow of many years of local trade
the fire became an oddly apt goodbye,
a show in place of demolition stayed.
A fire’s catharsis pales to ash’s mess—
they cleared the wreck and built a CVS.


Scott Ray is from Mississippi. He received an MFA at the University of Arkansas. Currently, he lives and teaches in Denton, Texas, where he is a PhD student at the University of North Texas and the Managing Editor of American Literary Review. His poems and stories have appeared in Hobart, Jellyfish Review, WhiskeyPaper, and elsewhere.