Imogen Wade – Wildfire

Imogen Wade

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.

Catharine Clark-Sayles – Degrees of Disaster

Catharine Clark-Sayles
Degrees of Disaster

we melt at one hundred and eleven, eggs fry on sidewalks,
bare feet blister, reports of heat stroke, usually foggy mornings
blaze up to hot at dawn as degrees mount into swelter.
Fans and ice water are not keeping me safe, one more risk
to this crumbling body with its tenuous balance of flesh.

The earth plays bad cop, sweats out my confession at night
when it cools to ninety-two and sleep remains in a distant valley,
I cough air smoky from fires and an orange moon near full
jacklights my bed, pins me to consider guilt: those lovely
long drives for the pleasure of driving, my fifteen-minute idle

while the windshield ice melts in winter, open-window idle
with car AC on blast until the steering wheel cools for comfort,
how many bottles of water have I purchased and casually tossed,
how many weeds have I sprayed. Confess: recycled bottles,
and cardboard is too little, too late. Meatless Mondays not enough.

Glaciers melt, seas rise, floods and drought and forest fires—
a roundabout of destruction—earth will find equilibrium
with sapien fossils for whatever comes next.