Saturday Poem

Slash & Burn

Fir trees shake their skirts, free
their perfume of sharp summer musk. So much

is certain: the dry rasp of wildfire plumes,
the cicadas climbing from their grave

after seventeen years of dust,  a harvest
of long, green tongues in late June, the slow

descent of gasoline prices.  I can hardly breath
in this biome, neither desert nor alpine

but scabbed prairie full of snake holes and basalt
pillars, which crumble and clink like glass under flat

feet. From here, each trunk in the low
bowl blazes red behind sunken city light. Yesterday

I saw six pallbearers carry that smooth
onyx box. I saw a girl garbed in a shiny, yellow

slicker laugh at her reflection. I saw over-wintered
bulbs dug up like small fists. The trees;

the huge lungs which satiate sky and still
kill all flora beneath their cradle of long limbs. This

is a great and savage secret: the slow ooze of amber sap,
the sweet, acidic bed of needles, the fingers

of demigods soaking up what they will. You must overturn
the spilled cup. You must squander nothing.

by Kaitlyn Airy
from the
Echotheo Review