Little Green Fire

Tim Carrier


Miriam burns her yard while I sit on my stoop & smoke. It's April & in town the evenings are already warm—

She's got a butane firelighter lit up in her hand. She's in her nightgown, it's still light out, hovering barefoot in the clumps—

The weeds are barely anything—

The yard is dirt— & smoky fires of green & yellow—

I sit on the stoop & smoke while her kid does his homework. We live on Dustin Avenue, or Butler Street, or Sunset at Apache—middle part of the town—

She tells me how her tricky dog got kidnapped once last year—but she knew the guy who'd got him— stalked the trailer & kidnapped him back—

After midnight, on the eastern outskirts—

For the getaway, her car wouldn't shift into Drive so she drove home backwards—with the lights out—all the way down 516—

When I move into the duplex she says her kid could use a man around, but—I'm barely half of anything already—my frame just faint green fire in dirt—

I sit on the stoop & smoke while the people next door in the parking lot at Dairy Queen eat their ice cream & watch Miriam do her work—

She moves like crazy, her wild hair, her feet sturdy & sure. She knows just what she's doing, doesn't hardly come up for air—

Across the way, chain-link & cottonwood—a schoolyard between the houses—the suspension of light & on their stoops other Saturday night people—

The town is dirt. Churches—people gaping, shifty piñon—

Down below Main Street, three rivers come together—above us Venus in her own fourth direction—

. . . above that, cold & subtle space—

Down around us little fires of April—yellow dirt in her coyote hair—

—& up on the ridges the mesmerized eyes of what was it planted us here.