You are Here

—for A

Fire snarls down the mountainside, clawing
at maple and pine, deer and toad, and you
stand frozen in the glare, ashes
on your arms, your hair. Your roof
falls. Your walls. People you love.
And everything in you

is saying run back, into the flare, save
what you know,
and everything in you is saying fly
fast and far, save
skin and bone, and everything
in you is saying stay—save

Your chest is tight. You ache
for air. And everyone near you is
Everyone gazing serenely
at bright little screams
in their palms.
sipping coffee, smiling
over muffins and scones.
You empty
your eyes. Hold your heart
still. Let no one else know you
are here.