Camille Dungy

(1972 / Denver, Colorado, ABD)

First Fire

Stripped in a flamedance, the bluff backing our houses
quivered in wet-black skin. A shawl of haze tugged tight
around the starkness. We could have choked on August.

Smoke thick in our throats, nearly naked as the earth,
we played bare feet over the heat caught in asphalt.
Could we, green girls, have prepared for this? Yesterday,

we played in sand-carpeted caves. The store we built

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