Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
 print version

The Fire

I kept thinking the feather
when I found it on the path

more blue in the jay’s wing


the eucalyptus downed the power line and brought flame
to bracken the deer leapt out of into the field past houses

people in their creased pajamas emerged from thinking
smoke I smell smoke fire by then louder than the coming sirens


when we euthanized the cat
I held her and found nothing

changed its soft brown neck
being met non-being warm

wet where my face had been


I don’t know the rules I think but I follow them down hill
into extravagant thistle from which a deer startles a spark

struck from flint fear mostly moves faster than predators
on the trail home I encounter for the first time a coyote

wild exactly the color of July in these hills a bit ragged
unhurried it stopped and turned toward me full of bones  

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