Forest Fire

from by Mount Eerie

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FOREST FIRE

The year moves on without you in it.
Now it is fall without you.
I had to close the windows and doors without you coming through.
I kept them open for as long as I could
but the baby got cold.
I watch the calendar bulldoze.

This whole past summer was a lingering heat wave and I remember late August, our open bedroom window, going through your things with the fan blowing and the sound of helicopters and the smell of smoke from the forest fire that was growing billowing just on the edge of town where we used to swim.
They say a natural cleansing devastation, burning the understory, erasing trails. There is no end.
But when I’m kneeling in the heat throwing out your underwear the devastation is not natural or good. You do belong here. I reject nature. I disagree.
In the hazy light of forest fire smoke I looked across at the refinery and thought that the world is actually constantly ending, and the smell and roar of the asphalt truck that was idling just out the window, tearing up our street.
I missed you, of course
and I remember thinking that the last time it rained here you were alive still
and that this same long heat that I was in contained you
and in this same heat I opened the window next to you on your last morning
so you could breathe
and then so you could ghost away
and now so the room will hopefully
stop whispering.

The grind of time I’m not keeping up with
the leaf on the ground pokes at my slumbering
grief walking around, severed, lumbering.
But slowly
sovereignty reasserts itself.
I don’t want it though
and betrayal whines
who and how could I
live?

credits

from A Crow Looked At Me, released March 24, 2017

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Mount Eerie Anacortes, Washington

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