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First, the House across the Street Caught on Fire

By morning, everything fizzled.

Poetry | Poetry Tuesday, poetry
January 9, 2024

The house down the street caught on fire.
Does location matter? It was a house. Uninhabited.

I had just watched a show about a house that caught on fire.
When sirens started, I thought I was sleeping. Smoke entered

our bathroom, snuck into our bedroom as I tore
up that flight of stairs in my summer pajamas. You

in bed snoring. Neighbors collected
on their porches. It was that house.

The ginger or maybe the brick.
Fire trucks parked so close

to our cars that were so close
to the hydrant, but not that close.

By morning, the sidewalks blank.
By morning, everything fizzled.

Overly roasted beans stained our teeth
coffee. Smell of camp. And the juncos

feasted on bugs on the backyard maple,
half-dead by neglect. Maybe the tree,

not ours, and the house not ours
either. No mourning nor gull.

Not even a Canadian or cloud.
Each home silent as Sunday.

Every small bird cut its beak
on a new splinter of day.