Dcrjsr, "A large Great Basin Bristlecone Pine, Pinus longaeva, showing both live and dead sections," 2010
Fast to catch aflame, and fast to burn, these hills— and brushfire’s what will come when lightning strikes. Ashes float on updrafts, turn to dust; still, we’ll hike. We’ll follow creeks alongside soot-stained rills,
Lay our packs on charred briars’ brittle spikes. There, we’ll catch a magic fish behind the gills, feed it bread to tell our fortunes, good or ill, in the shade of trees that split when lightning strikes.
This land’s as real as our bodies are, which means it’s all somewhat a dream—an accident of physics, or a poem, a summer’s fire cracking hardened seeds. And in the ashes that we walk through, there are greens that’d make an emerald weep—it’s our life’s matrix, love, an unquenched fire, an evergreen joy we heed.