by Jodie Marion
When you plucked a red hibiscus bloom
and held it like a little Shiva in your palm
the crotons’ orange spines turned to fire –
the state of Florida, a ready pyre,
went up in flames.
We decided to stay anyway
and live in a precinct of fire.
We imagined the licking of flames
to be our old river lapping.
Our beloved daybreak still broke yellow
and we learned to eat scorched ambrosia
swallow flecks of ash with our orange juice
and admire the charred pine flats.
It even felt right when your tongue
turned to ember and lit up
with every lift of the river breeze.