The Burning of Fry Street


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.