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September 2, 2020

As California Burns, I, too, am on Fire. {Poetry}

California burns, and I, too, am on fire.

Sea levels rise, and I am sinking.

Volcanoes erupt, and I am sliding down, molten lava burning, burning.

My head, a hurricane, all chaos and disconnection.

Pelting thoughts and torrents of rain.

Tornadoes rip through, and so, too, does my anger, my frustration, by whipping, maelstrom wind. 

I feel the winds of change within.

I am tired, just like you.

The invisible enemy haunts and taunts.

It has taken my freedom; it holds me hostage. 

And so I wait, just like you.

You see my eyes, but do you see my tears?

My fears?

All my forgotten years?

The ones I took for granted?

They are there, swimming in the sludge of silence. 

I rip off my mask, for a moment, in my car. 

I breathe and breathe; I haven’t forgotten how to breathe.

I breathe for all the breaths that have been taken, forsaken.

Too soon, for nothing, for doing nothing but being.

I breathe for all voices shaking, the ones currently quaking,

the voices that will be heard, if we have the last word.

Something must give.

It is me—I will give.

I hold in my hands, precariously, as do you, a glacier melting, a changing world.

On my back I lug around, as do you, one big, fat day in November

An unassuming Tuesday.

A Tuesday reserved for tacos, and goodbyes.


“Don’t question why she needs to be so free
She’ll tell you it’s the only way to be
She just can’t be chained
To a life where nothing’s gained,
and everything’s lost, at such a cost.” ~ The Rolling Stones


I am a river, rushing with rage, pushing, flooding, falling. 

I am but a blister in the sun; I am a room with a view.

I am free for now, but for how long? 

The summit beckons.

My life, your life, mere spiraling seasons, mere sedimentary rocks in time.

Like the ocean, I swell and crash.

Who will remember?

Who will take a stand?

As California burns, I, too, am on fire.

But I will use my fire for good.



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Kimberly Valzania  |  Contribution: 146,270

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