He thought the land too poised

September 18, 2012

When the boy in dog pants thought of ash trees
and poplar trees growing in the forest,
he thought the land too poised.
When he thought the land too poised,
he set pots of fire to burn among the trees.
They set the forest on fire.
He thought: Amazing, really,
to hear the pine trees scream
with what could be almost their own language—
for a fire can be like a dreaming of names
reflected backward
—more like afterthoughts
than serious reflections—
so that the boy in dog pants,
intent on laughing at our foolishness,
appears to jump into the very flame
he is in fact fleeing.

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