The Desert Burns

History, shoved in plastic garbage sacks, sat at the end of the drive.
The fire chief checked his watch, anxious, as they went back for
“just one more thing”
as the desert burned.

From the valley we watched as the smoke billowed out of the mountain,
Each passing cloud the death of one more tree, the death of
one more hope that the fire would be stopped
as the desert burned.

The yellow coats, streaked with dust, soot, sweat, bent over
the line in the sand for the fifteenth straight hour,
they tried to fight back hell with only shovel, axe,
and two blistered hands
as the desert burned.

Nature fans the flames with gusty breaths,
while she turns off the rain spigot with a tight twist.
Gaunt saguaros stand silent sentry, suffering but smug:
“You weren’t supposed to stay. They have all left; so will you.
You cannot build water. You cannot enclose the mountain.
You cannot hold the wind.”
Mute with shock and impotence, we mourn
as the desert burns.

There is no mercy;
it destroys unflinchingly
There is no reasoning with flame, no persuasion,
merely retreat
as the desert burns.

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Ripe magic, power, courage
Three gives away with three separate hands what is no longer useful
while, in a perfect circle, zero holds
all time, all questions, all mysteries, all patience.
A perfect collision of abundance and fearlessness,
of faith and longing,
Ripe, glistening, juicy, messy adventures are offered to me,
and I cannot, will not, refuse.