Distance

Everywhere green in the heat,
Almost too bright, scorching.
A few red leaves – sun kissed or sunburned
I do not know-
They peek cheekily amidst a seagreen canopy;
Bees drone from straggly roses while crickets grind a tune.

Down the road a blue truck bearing dogs
Winds its way to a dusty pull off;
It’s chase season in the mountains-

They used to meet in the parking lot in the morning,
Trucks lined up in neat rows, further down the road where
South River passed by the market,
Chatting over coffee through open windows before
Setting off in this direction or that
Now there’s nowhere to meet,
The market is gone:

blown to bits and pieces,
inside an inferno that shook beneath blue mountains
wild winds telling of the conflagration many miles away

Nobody knows why
Passersby stop to walk the perimeter
Bear witness to scorched remains of a lion in the heat,
Mounds of cans, tires, and two charred trucks,
Shattered cinder blocks in rubble
Contained by a fence strung with flowers, messages,
Love letters to the dead
Though in the chirring of Kingfisher
I chase a note that says
No ghosts linger here,
By keening cries they have been mourned,
Bid farewell, set free to fly

-Only the hungry sun remains,
Casting his eye on metal that burns under his gaze,
Melting away as he licks it all greedily-

Further down the road,
This place blazes green
Against a clear blue sky.

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