Amid the shock and awe at the final arrival of the long-inevitable,
at burn patterns already veining surfaces, at cities that smell like mistakes,
at villages cowering, at collapsing sea walls in hot rising surf, at isolated farms
where life’s winking out as flames consume…you’re here
where deep down you believe all that mess can’t bother you. You’re here
where you can feel the heat and think it’s…nice. You’re here
where you can watch and shake your head in time to the crackling
and you’re here where you can tell yourself that at least the art
may soon be as good as it always is under such stress.
It can’t be helped, you say. It’s the way of things, you say.
Forget the bucket brigade, forget the hoses, forget
pulling livestock and children from the flames. Their owners
and parents should have known better — but they aren’t yours.
You now may wring your brutal, soft hands. You need do nothing more.