The Division of Forestry

by Connor Holmes

Sometimes I think, a tumor was once a flower, there has been no rain for years, we do not recall the times between brush fire seasons, we share evacuation tips and hose each other’s roofs when we spot smoke in the distance. Though wet roofs will not help, this is the closest we come as neighbors to embracing. We smile, wave from our yards, robed, dogs bounding in fatalistic, knowing circles. The fire is a rising tide. Time is measured in Fahrenheit. I want to tell you, Hey Bob, did you know that love is just an electric wire hooked from your eyes straight back to your past, that love is a word that means nothing more than survival, that without love we would have all smashed our skulls against the cave walls until our thoughts dripped viscous into our eyes, blinding us from whatever meaningless things we’ve painted of ourselves. But then I think, who doesn’t know that? So instead I watch the stream of water arching from the hose to the shingles, knowing that it will all soon be smoldering cinders, and the fire will consume the oxygen and make each breath we take thinner, and this is like a lovely flower.

Connor_Holmes_authorphotoConnor Holmes lives and writes in Southwest Florida with his wife and dos perras locas. Following a brief stint in crime news, he now studies fiction at the University of Tampa low residency MFA program and is non-fiction editor of the Tampa Review Online. His fiction and non-fiction has appeared in several journals. This is his first professionally published poem.

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