A Column of Smoke

ghosted west to the sea

and I missed my off ramp
like most of the others

who prayed to the fire gods
oh please, not me,

and I saw from a distance
the mean residue

of burnt chaparral and
blistered black trees,

the carports and cribs
of suburban tribes

who fled with heads down
from their choked memories

and the burnt-out ends
of their west coast lives

that were hidden in rivers
of nameless debris.

I tasted pure luck
in my chilled Chardonnay

and I thanked god this time
I got off scot-free.

Leave a Reply