Household Fires

Promiscuous, air is air.

Nothing passes through that doesn’t already belong
to something else–

                                        the red-tailed hawk’s unceasing appetite, a saguaro blossom
              as it lets go its fifteen foot stem, your own body

                                                                  moving, always moving–

And now ash.

Ash of yucca, ash of ocotillo, ash of bird
and reptile and mammal.

                             Ash of your house, your neighbor’s, the car in the driveway, the children
              playing there or who were there just a moment ago.

                                                              That home can be so specific and lost.

As if nothing had ever happened.

This desert around us, this brightness we are
not equal to,

                                this fire we mistake for some new beginning. The way the body
              works against every impossibility to bring nothing

                                                                  but ourselves to pass through it,

to put our mouths to the ash that there may yet be hope.

That this might be a home.

That we might believe it.

Joshua Kryah is the author of two collections of poetry, We Are Starved (2011) and Glean (2007). He is also the poetry editor of Witness.

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