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1 poem

by Brenda Iijima

Brenda Iijima’s involvements occur at the intersections and mutations of poetry, research movement, animal studies, ecological sociology, and submerged histories. She is the author of seven full-length collections of poetry and numerous chapbooks and artist’s books. Her most recent book, Remembering Animals, was published by Nightboat Books in 2016. She is the editor of the eco language reader (Nightboat Books and PP@YYL) and of Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, located in Brooklyn, NY (yoyolabs.com).

FUTURE INFERNO

All fires are futuristic

From fueling fire’s readiness

 

Fires breathe in oxygen like

Sentient beings, fire is sentience

 

A preponderance of flare

Tinder prepares

 

A human dwelling is a star

Fueled by past lives

 

A star is a preponderance of fuel,

As is fire

 

Wittingly or unwittingly

Fire as inquisitor never rests

 

Fire is the indicator

Fire is evidence

Fire removes the clues

 

Drain the lake

Cool the image

Store the sentiment with fire

 

I do not want to die again

Forest guardians killed

Murdered

 

Methane, soot and HFC’s

Slash and burn

Too big to put out

The core is molten

You know the center is

Fiery metal

 

Excess of fire

eventuates rock

The house was a star

A fueled warm interior

 

Paradise was a star

 

Everything we know

Is burning

Funerary overload

Commemoration of the dead

 

No one dares placate

The fire

 

The sun is rampaging

 

How this actually happens:

Combustion reaction at ignition temperature

Char: nearly pure carbon

Ash: unburnable materials

 

Chemical reactions in fire

Are self-perpetuating

Fire is sensitive to pressure

 

Seeds pop

A future opens as a tendril

Where is the lake of rain to cure the raze?

The lake of rain is a fever dream moist and soft

Real lakes are hot and melting

Wetness gasses off in plumes

 

A ceremonial dance to honor fire

Necessary

Necessary psychic intervention

A jackal-headed effigy with intense eyes

Give your young, give your forests, give your life

She went over to the owl

And consulted him

 

The town’s ruination was an instruction

 

Our imagination, on fire

 

He instructs you to melt into reality