Fire in the North Country
Every living thing speaks of fire,
even the fog smolders with ashes.
The sun: blood-lit. The sky crackles with it.
Now I see why I worshipped you, who lived without pity
or regret. You smoldered, rust-red in July.
I was small, held together by skin.
I worshipped you like an answer. You who
took and bestowed like an addict. I was nothing,
barely held together. My charms: smoke and afflictions.
An addict, my mouth filled with thirst. If you were a woman
I’d admire you. If you were a horse I’d ride. O arsonist,
flamethrower, burning down the scalded air.
See that we were children, wanting only to be fed,
the way a forest feeds on fire. As it is, I fear you:
though I keep you near, like a fever.