Fire Season

Is it wrong
that I love the smell
of wildfires?
And the orange
the sun turns
as the smoke covers it,
or the way the ashes
float beautifully down
as if dancing.
I know just miles away
damage and destruction
are spreading fiercely
and I know in the months to come
people will still be
putting their lives back in order.
Yet, I want to stare
and savor and remember.
I hate fire season,
but every danger
has a side to be appreciated.

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inches by quarter inches

last night i found a row of scars
that i didn’t remember having.

last night it just struck me as strange,
tonight it screams beautiful
and points to something like grace.

because how could i forget even just one,
never mind a dozen thin little
lines that i once carved
into my fleshy paper white thighs?

when we allow our wounds to heal,
they do and that’s beautiful.

God showed me how to forget,
but he also taught me to remember.

and i remember the time i traced
every self-inflicted scar
with a red pen,
the expensive kind art-school kids use.

and R was glad to know where
every unbearable moment landed
on this body, the first naked girl
he’d ever seen in person,
but it broke his heart.

Hypoallergenic Poetry

I understand now
why we take photos
or write a memory down.
It’s because of fear;
fear that no moment
will ever be as beautiful
as this one.

But it’s a lie.
Every moment is beautiful,
each could be better
than the one before it.
If we look for it,
we’ll see it’s there.

It’s in the gluten-free chalk dust
that J says is “powerful.”
It’s in the way R stretched
on Tuesday when he was comfortable enough.
It’s in T’s favorite sentence,
“Here you go.”
It’s in this purple maxi dress
that I wore to bring a baby home.

It’s in my pen as I write
and later in my keyboard.

The In-Between

Damn, this life is beautiful.
It’s raining a little
and I didn’t bring a jacket.

The first promise in a song;
in my headphones now, still true.
You’ve never let me go.
Help in a heartbeat,
if ever I ask.

The sky looks like a picture
painted by someone who’s never seen real clouds.
But how can that be?
Because these clouds are real,
aren’t they?

Maybe this could be two poems,
but I’ll leave it as one.
Then again, my entire life is a poem
and it just goes on and on.

A beautiful beginning
and, still 70 years in the making, an ending.
An ending just as beautiful.