The Fire

Trees thin, till you can see
for hours the fire
is the shadow and the passing.
It licks and curls in sooty
black tongues over the old snow.

The forest is baptised;
the immolation was running before us –
our throats murmur denials.
We had forgotten where green-black
pre-dawn forest should have
wrapped us in silent holiness.

As moving cool and quick
over burnt stone trails,
we will be surprised to pass
through a forest fire
into a thick arboreal realm.