Poetry by Sarah Borsten
The smoke has become a cat heavy with sleep draped over the face of the city. Sickly orange sunlight casting shadows through fire escapes onto the white brick of buildings downtown flecks of ash floating outside like a broken snow globe. These wildfires are turning air quality maps to orange and red smokers unable to smoke asthmatics sitting behind windows squinting into the weak light couples passing by in pastel dust masks. We don’t ask about the forest animals don’t dare think about charred remains of old growth trees thousands of entwined roots because it’s too many deaths to count. And so we think about those teenagers their blank faces and slumped shoulders still denying the moment when firecrackers remained fire dry forest below sudden proof that the things you choose to let go of sometimes turn against you.
Sarah graduated from the 2014-2015 Poetry Certificate program at the Independent Publishing Resource Center in Portland, OR. Her poetry has appeared in Jerkpoet, 1001 Journal, VoiceCatcher, Roanoke Review, and SUSAN. She leads a double life working for a local HR consultancy, finding grays between the black and white lines.