“Spreading like wildfire”
becomes literal
when you live here.
As the fire starts
the smoke is light colored,
almost white, mingled
with the palest orange.
As it progresses,
you pray it stays these colors.
Light grey is even fine,
but when it tilts toward black,
your breath catches
in your irritated throat.
Black means it’s burning
hotter, more intensely,
perhaps even
that the first threatened structures
have been engulfed.
Consumed and lost,
preservation out of reach,
in spite of best efforts.

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.

Me All Over (Everyday Inspiration, Day 17)

so cal love

If I were to draw a map of my life,
it would be vast and complicated.
It would include valleys, mountains,
small towns, beaches, lakes, oceans,
cities, deserts, freeways, dirt roads.
Off-ramps where we had sex,
parking lots where we fought.
Schools- the one we met at,
the ones I went to as a child,
the one I go to now and
the preschool
our firstborn is about to start.
Streets you parked on
when there was nowhere to go.
The driveway where I once flashed you,
now our encounters there are PG.
The dorm-rooms
where we became explorers
of the human body.
The mall where you left me
and things didn’t go as planned.
Santa Monica.
The carnival from March 20-14.
The big, abandoned, red hotel
that fascinated me.
Travel Lodge and Knight’s Inn
and America’s Best Value Inn
and the showers on Coronado beach.
Glenoaks Blvd and
West Hollywood.
The gas station where
I used student loan money.
2N10 (forest road)
or maybe it was 2N14,
heck, it might have been 2N17
or some other combination of numbers.
The hospital where our children were born
and the curb where you blew out two tires.
Las Vegas
and the spots we had car trouble.
Miller Park and Meadow too.
The airspace above this country
and a handful of airports.
You’re all over the map,
but not absolutely everywhere.

Plans Yet To Be Carried Out

Your 86 Volvo.
Santa Monica,
to ride the carousel.
Pants cuffed to the knee.
Cold sand and fish tacos.
Oversized shades with sunscreen.
Smiles in cell phone pictures.
Blanket wrapped up PCH.
Stories and memories retold.
Your 86 Volvo.
to love you.


*Note: I actually wrote this poem about 7 years ago, but it has always been one of my favorite things that I’ve written, so I wanted to share it.