Poetry 2014 / Volume 45

Smoke Jumper — Matthew Hamilton

The orange earth below
burns of cities.

I see a buck
with flames on his back
jump into a river.

The wind blows his body
across the water
as if its cottonwood seed.

His hooves spark the underbrush
and the fire is on me.

My eyes burn.
The universe ignites.

|I curl into the water
like a pill bug,
thick with silver dust,
dig myself in,
and wait.

It starts to rain
by the time the chopper
touches down.

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