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Burn Safety 

By Andrea Repetz


At the first degree, 

             From UV rays or kettle tea, 

The skin sings red and angrily, 

And secondly, 

At the second degree, 

The skin boils, filled with sap that sourly 

Turns putrid green 

              And may turn black with gangrene, 

And though the blisters hurt the most-- Do not apply a numbing crème, 

For when you get to the hospital, the nurses there must wipe it clean 

And rip your skin back while you scream, 

               So don’t apply a numbing crème 

Next, gaze upon the third degree, 

But do not trust the sight you see 

The stark white skin is not healthy 

So you’d better write a eulogy 

Because your skin has died 


It goes beneath the surface too 

Catastrophe to soft tissue spreads irreparably into 

The muscles, tendons, fat, and soon a fourth degree of death ensues 

I haven’t even gotten to 

How thermal burns turn morning brew into a steam-rashed dermis goo 

How chemical burns turn skin to soup and let your little bones poke through 

And electric burns smoke up a room with the scent of a cannibal barbecue 

It might just be the end of you, demise by flame or fume or fuse 


But if this makes no sense at all, 

It’s intricate, it’s not your fault 

It’s tough to picture the body in shock 

So, do you want to see some scalds? 

I painted examples on baby dolls 

Just hang in there, don’t be alarmed, 

‘cause this will be the graphic part. 

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