Fire in the belly of a one-man relief army
in Gatlinburg. Fire in the wounds of the locals
who fled the burning hills and hollers
of those Tennessee towns. Fire won’t ask you
who you voted for before it consumes
everything you knew.

Fire in the words of the digital
battleground. Civility and friendships charred
among the remains. Fire on the tongue
of a construction worker singing folk
songs in Detroit while nobody knew

but for the whole country of South Africa
and they turned him into an Anti-Apartheid
icon. Fire in the sheets of a bed-in
lasting two weeks. Fire in every syllable of a civil
rights savior—come to Memphis to stand

with the sanitation workers. Fire in the thin bones
of a liberator making his own salt from the sea,
in the restless hands of a nun in Calcutta, in the
fire dancer’s visions of co-mingling
cultures. Creating a world without collisions.

Fire in the feat of the marching protestors
on Fifth Avenue, building their tower
of song for the South Shore social
workers and teachers, singers and Salutatorians.
Marine Biologists too late to save

the washed up whale. Chants for the word
mavens telling it slant. Fire in the third chakra
on a yoga mat in Killington
channeling the chi, the life force—balancing
the breath into hope.

© Russ Green

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