It All Ends in Fire

by Aaron Blair

I pile my hair on my head like a mushroom cloud,
an explosion above the desert that is my face.
I try hard to remember what rain felt like,
but all I can imagine is a jungle on fire,
napalm hot and sweet, melting on my tongue.
I know where I am. I know that I am going to die.
Even the secret self I hid away,
attached to the bottom of a palm frond,
desperately sipping at the moisture in the air,
will end up a husk on the desecrated ground, undisturbed.
Only people and dragons like to cook their meat,
to gnaw at the shadows of corpses transformed by flame.
I don't want to be a person anymore,
but I don't want these wings or scales, either.
I want to slide to the bottom of the food chain,
the stairs of the pyramid collapsing beneath me.
I'll sink to the bottom of the ocean,
stubborn detritus waiting for the sky to stop being red,
waiting for the world to be born again.
This time we'll do it the right way.
We won't burn everything to cinders
and then puzzle at the taste of ashes in our mouths.


Posted on 07/09/2013
Copyright © 2023 Aaron Blair

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Linda Fuller on 07/09/13 at 02:16 PM

Splendid poem. Grippingly begun, perfectly ended. Thank you.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 07/11/13 at 01:16 PM

This gets better with each read. Intense and somehow very calm. How could I not love that first line! Thanks for this.

Posted by Rob Littler on 07/12/13 at 02:31 AM

I love the message here, and the things it makes me think about: the Fire Sermon, the flame of consciousness, burning at the cellular level, living as dying, the forgotten Mother, human short-sighted egotism, the paradox of time in the symbol of a flame....

Posted by Dan Linn on 07/17/13 at 12:14 PM

Predictions of a winter we will not survive as a species, is refuted only by greater flights of fancy than this. As nature seeks balance, our dominance will be shaken off as blight. Sadly, not even this poem will remain.

Posted by Elizabeth Shaw on 07/23/13 at 02:28 PM

this flows magnificent yet personal with vunderbar plumes in your imagery that sweat thunders to your core... write on.

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