for Peter, in his house
After the fire comes the flower.
In the slashy hills,
in the creek bottoms
where the loggers have walked,
I could see their mauve river
riding the burnt hills into the Yukon autumn.
Fireweed, the first flower rages across
the old bald mountain, the stony mountain,
fighting for life with the poplars and the willows
as they fade to yellow and then auburn.
and feeds shadows, dampness, alders,
aspen, pines, firs, squirrels
rats, mice, crows, hawks, squirrels.
Here they come
the treasures of the forest,
wolverines, Siberian wolves, blue foxes,
more rats, hunters, housewives, children,
shacks, tanners, sowers and reapers, blacksmiths.
They just keep on coming —
the many avenues, the dreaming future.
Pass me the second one, she said, and I will
give her the other breast to suckle.
Horses, hammers, arrowheads, plows, hairpins.
The world goess multitudinous:
towns, cities, megacities, street kids.
the rats growing fatter, the wheat growing thicker,
gorgeous life, wealth, panties dropped, dishware,
strip malls, home entertainment units.
It gets crazier.
riots, wars, the last pigeon circling a ringed moon
and fire again —
melting the ground, melting faces,
and then, and then, the laughter
the little shrieks of love, the fireweed
I need to be burned to be reborn.