With Forest Fires

If I go to New Mexico
Again, and leave my true love behind
For a little while-
Will she become like that hallucination without
My trust:
Will she be the busy noise of an airplane
As it skips across the
Or the fire after it has eaten a forest
The butterflies have sifted into after a long
Or even the fair after it has packed up and
Leaving only its prizes of gold fish to the housewives
Who are too young to care-
Will I become like a memory passed a thousand
Times a day on a busy highway,
The night and its descendants smelling of
Jasmine and the spent
Noises of engines- like a manmade
And will I have to spend away the waves of
My midnight thinking of her,
Hollowing and whittling her grottos into
My chest,
Like scars or tattoos, just trying to become
A longer poem holding out for her absence-
While she remains greener in another man’s mind,
Blazing like an airport of jealous jewelry-
Until she finally stops reminiscing of my make-believe
And returns again to his sterile joy,
Losing all of her favorite color,
And her soul- her child busy at the hips of
Her playground,
And they ring around her again-
The sky blazes with forest fires that never signal
My name.

by Robert Rorabeck

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