Under an umbrella, sometime in July

We’ll always have that morning on the River Cam
where we watched a fire burn in the rain.
How I wish we could have seen
how not unlike that fire we would be, and how,
like all things, even the fire on the Olympic torch
before us must go out eventually—
that harsh reality that we refuse to admit,
even as we blind ourselves with blissful moments
that make us forget the promised, smoky darkness
after the flames have been extinguished.
Looking back, even now, I can only recall
how sweet it was to watch that fire, that golden torch,
resisting the elements with its man-made splendor,
carried proudly by a man holding it to the heavens.
That was us, I think. That would be us,
a flickering light punting calmly along,
real, though temporal. But, even still,
we’ll always have that morning on the River Cam
where we watched a fire burn in the rain.

Aquarius

Let’s be like those little plastic stars
that decorate the ceilings of children’s rooms,
that glow, dimly, in arbitrary cosmos,
and shine, not brightly, but enough.

So, I think, all we really need is to stay,
to glow faintly in the darkness of that room,
enough for each other—enough to remind us
that we’re there, alive, even at our dimmest.

Dry summer

Sometimes, when there are fires,
I think of war and cigarettes.
I think of billowing clouds
of smoke rising to the heavens,
silent, and benevolent.
I wonder how many houses—
filled with old photos, curtains, bed sheets—
have turned into oceans of ash.

Sometimes, when there are fires,
I think of how your house
almost burned down that summer.
The hillside burned obsidian
like the lungs of those not understanding
that, sometimes, there are wars.
Sometimes, there are fires,
and that, always, there will be smoke,
and scorched earth beneath their feet.