Sun shouldn’t be this red this high.
It’s a wrong beauty.  Smoke-plumes
across the continent from burning Oregon,
burning California tint our sunrise
a sunset.  Our river banded
summer-algae green sparkles copper.
All day a pinkish eye will sear
a furrow in the dirty blue.

Out west, the sky bends and
buckles, a sheeted flame from
the lit match of earth, orange
as the grotesquely made-up face
of the arsonist to whom the forests
are entrusted, American sundown.



—Thomas R. Smith

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