Love Poem: Wildfire Evacuation

 

Ellery Akers

I love you in the smoke.

Even though the world has become shapeless.

Even though the smoke is full of particulates.

You can see fear when you rescue a spider,

drop a glass over it,

and it rushes from one rim to another.

Now we are like that. We are in danger.

I love you as the forests burn,

as elk stoop in the smoke,

unable to drink at the creek,

I love your face when you meditate,

as the forests are gouged, I love you,

as the long-billed curlews are becoming extinct;

I come back to your collarbone

as the roots mourn,

and the leaves are friable and burnt

and bones litter the roads.

I kiss your shoulder

through the hole in your t-shirt

as you say to your dog, enjoy your dinner,

as spiderwebs fill with ash

and cattle pant in the smoke.

When you walk in the door, the smoke lifts

and the headlines sink back into meaningless ink;

I love you as fear coats the world with its slick varnish:

Danger fire. Danger virus. Ragged dry lightning.