May 6, 2008

To ************* From the Residents of Point Reyes

Written by Lola Haskins

Read by Carolyn Guinzio

After the Vision Fire, November 1995

You kicked at the campfire, went home. The conflagration
climbed the hills, ate every offered ration
of manzanita and bishop pine until the land was one

black sea for miles. It’s a conundrum
why you didn’t try harder, a humdrum
carelessness really, that made the grass spit flame. May it drum

into the room where we hope you are sleepless, the ta-ra of your promotion
to a rank we do not think you understand. May the wide ocean
be your measure, that its waves shun

you. May you learn from this how ultimate is the momentary,
that each act tears
you from the last, that you are heir

to homelessness, to the fire you made and the fire after.
May flickering paper walls stir
thought. And we are

sending you something else as well, to crackle and swish
in the taffeta wind — what may stir you soon, what we wish
for you forever. Enough of sleeplessness, bring on dreams. Shhhh.