It's 2 A.M and the only thing keeping me awake
is the smell of smoke and the old jazz
they play on Night Train at this hour.
They're not sure where this blaze started,
most likely some dry brush cindered
by a rogue lightning bolt, or maybe
a few kids trying to light a joint
in some backwoods, one dry leaf igniting
and fleeing like a leash-slipped dog.
I’d like to believe that perhaps some small
meteor might have made it through
the dense film of earth’s atmosphere
and settled in a bed of sap-moist pine needles.
Whatever it was, it doesn't matter now
as rows of trees burn to fine dust
near the shoulder of the highway.
I change the station and tune into a preacher
shouting God’s wrath and the end of days.
Under the dim scarlet haze of this sky
I almost believe him.

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