I DON'T WANT to set the world on fire.
It's one of the oldest adages of time,
that you can't put out fire with more fire,
and already our world is burning.
Already there is smoke in your lungs
from blowing out your birthday candles
along with wishes you have scaled down
so that maybe this time they'll come true.
Already there is smoke still rising
from cigarette butts thrown out a car
window by someone you will call careless.
Already there is smoke from fires
that originated in trashcans, originated in
gasoline rainbows, originated in mis-wired
electrical sockets, accidentally, unintentionally.
You remember the year of the wildfires,
of heat and no rain, well enough to know that
a world on fire is not what we need at all.
Something slower and softer.
Fire burns too quickly and I say sometimes
that I love the way the diving flames dance,
but when it comes down to it, I've
always been too afraid of getting hurt
to embrace something dangerous simply
because of the way it tastes like poetry.
I know people who will go through whole
boxes of matches just to watch them burn
but alas, I am not one of those people.
I was born a Cancer, under a water sign, and
it seems the stars themselves have deigned it
that I am not of them.
No, what I want is enough water to put out
the blazes that burn on every street corner,
fires set for love and religion and politics,
fires that are the aftermath of every fallout
of every argument we've ever had, all of us.
I want to tear the fire extinguishers from the
walls, to beat out the flames with blankets,
to have the whole world to stop, drop, and roll
in perfect unison, as if it would save us all.
I want the saving, and then I want silence.
Reflection. Nothing but hugs and hands and
soft but genuine smiles that assure us
that we can sort through the rubble.
We can rebuild the world and feel sorry that
we ever thought it was a good idea to take
matches to a sky that was already on fire.