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House-Sitting With Approaching Fire

By
August 15, 2014

Limache, Chile, 2013

Dear friends
the ash-fall is thickening here

it’s filming over the pool

I tell the cats we’ll be fine
the flames will not reach us
we are feline
occupied enough just pawing
the ash from our teeth

Though now the fire seems
to be widening
flaming closer
having its way
with the neighbors’ trees

I know I should stop pretending
to be a pet
should be hosing down
the roof instead

or grooming a mustache
to join the men on the street

But what can a poet
in a borrowed house conjecture
about a spreading fire
except to say
we have been known
to become our fathers

that fires are known to get hotter
and also to buckle

Dear friends I want to be lucky
to go on licking my paws

I want to seal more travel creams in Ziploc

I want it all

G

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Author Image

Idra Novey is the author most recently of Exit, Civilian, a 2011 National Poetry Series Selection and named a Best Book of 2012 by Coldfront Magazine and The Volta. Her novel Ways to Disappear is forthcoming from Little, Brown in 2016.

Feature image by Daniel Heidkamp.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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