Any Fire

A Poem by Carl Boon

Any fire you see’s a trace
of what you might’ve been.

How lucky you were
to have ambushed the world
when you did; how a sliver
of oxygen accompanied
the coming, the ecstasy.

Fix your gaze upon the mouth
of Wolf Creek, Mount Uludağ,
or Mars. Strips of smoke
carried west by the wind,
the noncompliant voices

of your ancestors—a martyr,
an aunt, a drummer.

Consider your descendants:
their fears, the different ways
they’ll shield themselves
from heat and pain and thought.
Ember’s merely discontinued

form, the maybe-you. Recline.
Place your elbow on the bedside
stand and listen to your mother
in the room below. She waited
for you before you came.

Carl Boon is the author of the full-length collection Places & Names: Poems (The Nasiona Press, 2019). His poems have appeared in many journals and magazines, including Prairie Schooner, Posit, and The Maine Review. He received his Ph.D. in Twentieth-Century American Literature from Ohio University in 2007, and currently lives in Izmir, Turkey, where he teaches courses in American culture and literature at Dokuz Eylül University.

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