A message on my cell phone, from Indiana, Sister Pat
asking about the fire, how close, it was hard to tell she said
but she saw Kathy and the horses on TV. I call her back
to say she had the number wrong and should try again.
But the place was right. Here, the place of fire.
It’s still burning in the hills, I tell her
winnowing the canyons like a famished thing.
We live with fire on this coastal shelf, flames and wind,
the stoking breath. Evacuation plans are drawn
prioritized by dearness, pets and photos first.
Windows closed against the sleet of ash touching
down like innocent feathers. The sky bronzes and
high in our nostrils is the firepit char of extinction.
It’s far from contained, I tell the Sister listening
in Indiana. God bless you, she says.