Poets for Science
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What We Do to Ourselves

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This scent of evergreens. Cones sealed tight,

waxy & ready to open like unclenching fists

in prayer. That is the same no matter geography.

Unfurling promises, ripening between burned resin

& cedar logs smoldering, sinking, sustaining.

 

Lightest of embers accosting forests. Think

climate change, globalization, the physics of

fire calculated in laboratories. Consider the way

towns verging upon cities are engulfed. Aftermath:

scorched trunks, sandy soil, & barrenness.

 

Even wildfires have a season, unconfined through

sleepless nights and specializing in destruction.

You can slow most things down to a dream, but

the best you can do with fires is to have them linger.

Stretch out this heat—thread beginning & ending.

 

Such unknowing we thrust upon ourselves. Even when

denying them shapes, bundles & bunches before

breaking. This present makes beggars out of all of us.

See this summer dust crumbling, thick & heavy. It is

astonishing how long ruined things will burn.