Tagged: the Fire

Meds

i am asked to pass candles over a fence to a party

i light them first, which I guess makes the whole thing harder

looking back it seems strange

each candle seems desperate, a plea to other nights

the flame a small bird struggling with huge weight

overstimulant with nice things

buried in woman’s hair, the air all at once

i know they are small, my hands

but small things eat things

they consume slugs as dolphins

people who understand, might understand

i see the world in the eyes of everyone else

or do i just see it that way

is near death a symptom, or the start of a remedy

should I stop now, or just go with it?

People Near a Fire

A woman sings without breathing mask
in all this smoke.
She covers Wagon Wheel
and smoke covers the mountains.

A crowd of people gather. They dance
as though someone
has just completed
a successful surgery, or a birth,

and small green shrubs have popped up
from the fires before. 2003, 2010. They seem
to run back and forth like children
between challenges.

What challenges me? A guy lights his cigarette
and his girlfriend gets on him.
He says I need it to be myself
while we’re here!

I’m standing alone for the same reason.
You’re off in the market, carrying
my bucket of water. It seems impossible
that I should be able to cry now

smoke like a grey wool pillow, pink
bandana around my face, but I am. Something
about the altitude, my solitude, a mixture
of short air and of people, how

I love you, how I look like a bandit,
how I love to see your ideas
nesting in burnt trees like eagles.
I love how people continue to dance

long after the woman has lost her voice,
how when you look closely, you can see
where new life
has been pulled out of old life.

Rubbing Two Sticks Together

I see those kids again
Her pink hair. His hands
attached to her
butt pockets. Walking down
Airport

Walking down the trail
overlooking the Fire Academy’s
training center. It is more
of a wading

than a walking, the way
they synchronize
their leg movements. They
move as if through

cool ooze, the morass
of skipping classes,
the way a day passes
when you are young

I lose them behind
the Fire Academy stairwell
A fire truck ladder
lands on an open window
Recruits scramble up

And the sun sits. It seems
to think the same long thought
it’s been thinking
since we were born

More On the Sun

I think it can see
how fragile we are
There’s a newly paved road
on the old road
Over and over. The sun
a twitching
of blind spots
The sun itself
is a blind spot
What lights there?
We change lanes
mostly guessing
No wonder our Earth
has its face
to the sun
like it does, at all times
pacing around it
Maybe the sun
was born
with some disease
that requires watching
An impulse control
issue. Look at us, driving
places. Honking
like geese
in such
well-meaning light
What must we look like
to them, up there?
The irritable
The spitting
Our lives an array
of outbursts
The chaos
of joy
falling softly
on some other planet. Pink
and blue murmurs
Gold standards. Our boxes
for looking directly
at the sun?

The Race

A pickup truck, its doors open
The arms open
of a full-breasted man singing
Box-spring octaves
and accordion squeezing
Tejano music easing
around houses
like juice swirled in a cup
I am not inside my head
At all?
A boy with long red shorts comes running past
His shorts are like the summers here
His ankles are like the winter
in that they turn back over
when they are rolled
The boy trips, is ran past by others
They are running to the truck
where girls have started dancing in the bed
The truck is heaving
One of the racers is not leaving
He turns his head to look
at the fallen boy. But his body hasn’t stopped
He keeps running, looking back
He sees me. I see him. In a way
we see everyone, sometimes, for
a second. The way our heads
are placed askew
onto already moving bodies
The look of surprise
genuine surprise
at not being able to stop

Future Fire Building

My job is to give
some hope of love
to the woman
at the bus-stop, the one
with her binoculars
who tells a story
of buses coming
and gets the kids off their music
She is built for love
We are all built for love
somehow, even with our
breathing and water sloshing
Even with our bones
in perfect sleep position
against our poses
Even with so many acres
of blood, being able
to see our blood for miles
as if structures
had been lifted from it
How can there be room
for such a giant-chested
lightness as love?
That feels like someone
pointing the way
with their fist?
How high is the river?
Tell me again
about the good old days, when
nothing mattered more
than a fire
built suitably