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In the forest of my mind, I like to imagine
skins of Giant Sequoias thick enough to endure
a rapidly heating planet. Like the ceilings of London’s
Old Globe maintained their thatched oak shape even
after The Great Fire. Theater being the haven we leap
towards to both rekindle and escape what burns
us humanly up, sniffing sulphur from our seats. When
plague grips a grand city in its pitch and airless
fist, flames bore holes in flesh that the rats sing
sweetly through. Music being both solvent and lifeline,
hauling us out when longing dissolves every part
we think to toss in. Sometimes I light myself on
fire and watch small bodies skitter my edges. Buildings
I’m constructing from each scalded shadow fled.
Copyright 2022 Michelle Bitting
Michelle Bitting’s books include Nightmares & Miracles (Two Sylvias Press, 2020). She is the Poet Laureate of Pacific Palisades.