Last week’s wildfire burned the woods;
through the rain, I can see its absence.
Pillars of smoke bulldozed for days, like
a Kool-Aid cult’s gates to the afterlife.
We killed the lights at bedtime, Blitz;
windows thrown open in the heatwave
to scout the breeze—instead, our rooms
held the sound of fire hoses on the hills.
Above the city is a new planet where
nothing grows, its borders demarcated
by singed gold. Pine trees are looming
like Stonehenge sarsens around an altar.
Or like a fairy circle, which is a prettier
notion, and reminds me of the old stories
of my country. But when I step inside:
there is no other world, or other self.