Crackling and burning,

The flames pull me in

And I almost


the biting cold in my toes.

My classmates and friends

Talking and laughing.

I can almost


The mask constricting my face.

The familiarity of burned marshmallows

And sticky fingers,

I can almost


The weight of lives

And the stress

To protect 

From an invisible killer.

We line up to take a photo,

Falling through the crust

And I can almost


This new constricted feeling in my chest

of being near 

too many people.


The birds in the distance

Remind me

Of spring.

And I realize I’ve almost


That life goes on,

And in time

Things will be back to normal

And we can


This year we lost.

But for me it isn’t entirely


I stood by a crackling and burning fire,

Ate a s’more,

And took a picture with my friends.

Maybe this fire isn’t

The same as all the other fires.

But it started as a match,

burned up the scavenged kindling,

And a spare runaway newspaper.

It came from wood split by an axe

And drowned everyone in smoke.

Some things have changed,

But fire 

is fire,

is fire.

And that I won’t


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