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Post-Fire Succession
By Jeremy Pataky, Anchorage
Genre: Poetry Level: Adult
Year: 2010 Category: UAA/ADN Creative Writing Contest

Untroubled by mirrors reflecting anything,
a bee pollinates the fireweed's top blossom.
I reflect nothing but the light glinting from your skin.
And by that lake, in that sun, I could foresee
missing you, the day of the bakery and bicycles.
Your house in the city
sheds rain into streets, the streets
shed rain to sewers, the glaciers flowed
thusward from the talismans of their own
homemade clouds, and I live someplace
quietly and well, and the thought
of you is muffled by the hum of this creek
flowing endlessly and loud,
silty, then clear again, and small planes blaze by,
enough intrusion to hollow out this silence,
you are inside it,
you are inside this, aren't you,
aren't you the density of this burning forest's smoke--
the fireline is singeing the river.
Someplace quiet, I reload. You understand.
You sweat but your feet are in cold water,
our bodies are in the noise of the river,
in the noise of burning,
we're burning, we're burning, you're burning this down.

About the Author: Winner, UAA/ADN Creative Writing Contest, 2010 - Poetry, Open to the Public

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