May 2005 / Volume Six / Issue Three
Lisa LaTourette
car fire

sitting in my car
the heat turned up
to take away the razor edge
of the morning's cold rain,
waiting for my husband to
buy a pack of cigarettes
in a seedy convenience store,
little town near the ocean
lost & salt stinking high
past the broken roofs,
settling on your clothes & hair;

side street deserted
gray comatose trees hang stark,
snow clinging to branches
like a layer of muscle;
someone's old car, a spot of color;
a shot of orange fire bursts
through a side window
a flower raging open,
red bells & gray skies exposed
over the screaming heart of the flames;

it grows in seconds,
white smoke billows into a
black sooty haze,
dirty breath taking over the sky
but the trucks come quick
get control of the fire
as though it's a rowdy child,
nothing left but the car's black skeleton
just past the traffic light
& not even 10 minutes have gone by;
morning's breeze & the chill standstill,
ribbons of smoke now mingle
with the clouds.
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