North Coast Bushfires
Reverence. How the afternoon
comes down on you like that.
In a microsleep you can travel
hundreds of metres — into trees
and cars. I thought I would
just close my eyes. After that
it is all pretty random.
The universal joint, the bearing pins.
So I tried to focus on clouds.
They billowed just like anvils.
I smelled smoke long before the cops
closed off the highway.
On backroads the sunlight slanted
through dust and I pictured the roll
of the earth. The sky turned orange.
But everyone had the same idea.
At dusk a black soot filled
the valley where a lone tree stood.
It was like driving through fog, only
it burnt the throat. Then lightning
lit that tree which said, “I have
grown into a god.” And stray thoughts
were telling me how badly I needed
a motel. Because life is long.
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