sometimes you are helpless

Humid

Breath is pulled from my lungs.
My throat goes hollow
every time a howling
fire truck wails down the street.

My throat goes hollow,
I could swallow those anxious faces peering
from the fire truck wailing down the street.
It would be safer in my mouth—

I could swallow those anxious faces peering,
despite (my) pounding temples and blurred time.
It would be safer in my mouth—
I could shout a warning.

In spite of pounding temples and blurred time,
every time there’s a howling
it’s a warning
that’s been pulled from my lungs.

* * * * *

Yesterday, when I read the news that there was a gas leak explosion in the neighborhood that was my home of twenty years, New York’s East Village, I gasped. Three buildings caught fire and collapsed. This bullet point in the Daily Mail headline haunts me: Nicholas Figueroa, 23, who was on a date at a sushi restaurant and Moises Lucon, who worked there, have been reported missing.

east village coffee shop (c) 2009 Holly TroyFire was one of my greatest fears when I lived in the city. There is nothing like the sinking feeling of walking home and seeing firetrucks on your block, or a friend’s block. How quickly fire can spread on those tenement buildings pressed up against one another.

Of course, fire is a big issue here as well. I’ve experienced two forest fires, and both times, have had friends whose homes came close to being swallowed up. Last year, when I first started dating my boyfriend, I helped him evacuate his home. The landscape was eerie and strangely beautiful, overcome with the haze of smoke and (not so) distant glow of fire.

I wrote the poem above in response to 9/11. After the attack, walking by a fire station was like walking through a pocket of sorrow – the weight of sadness in the air was palpable. So much loss. Whenever I’d see a firetruck, I was overwhelmed  by the faces of the men inside. Just, oh – I wish 9/11 never happened.

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I'm a rock-n-roller poet who left the Big Apple for the Big Sky Desert where I've been letting it be and grooving with universal love, singing to the gods, dancing with the muses and bicycling with dreamtime messengers. I like altering my reality through imagination, movement, breath, and makin' stuff.

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