Every bonfire starts as a boiling
Before it becomes a burning
The dead chopped logs seemed dry
In their orderly brown gray stacks.
You have forgotten that morning drizzle from days ago:
The dew, the wet earth, the sludged soil,
The dampness silently absorbed
Into pockets of air braided into a hard core,
The tiny reservoirs where the rain gets stored.
The heat increases and the logs hiss and seethe.
The little oases agitate, become steam,
Find fissures of escape through the grain,
Burst forth to freedom with a triumphant scream
You’re not so dry yourself
You tired old husk of bark.
There are gaps and lacunae yet
In the mass of your solidity,
Untapped pools of liquidity
Patiently resting like glacier ice
Just waiting for a warming
Just waiting for a spark.
You must find a way to light that fire.
It’s never an easy game.
(Did you know we’re mostly water?)
Without a match or a lighter
You can rub some sticks together
Heat, smoke, then a flicker of flame
To release a vapor that rises to become cloud,
Become rain to slake a parched throat,
The scorched earth.
We must all be boiled
Before the rest can all burn