There was a fire on the slopes of Mauna Kea,
heart-flames licking and creeping through tall trees,
cars lined up bumper-to-bumper
waiting for smoke to clear along the highway.
Impatient tourists in flashy white jeeps and convertables
turned their cars around, or walked hurridly
to find out what the hold up was,
still in city time, borrowed time.

I put my car in park, there is only one way home,
and I waited. I called you and watched you instead,
face-timing into the shadows of your white kitchen,
4,000 miles away, in Kentucky,
You, dancing in your new coral seashell dress,
“It’s a moo moo,” you giggled,
laughing and swirling like a Spanish dancer.
You always make me smile.
At six hours ahead, you were looking for a midnight snack.
My sun hadn’t even gone down yet.

They finally let us through, single lane.
fire had reached the edge of the road.
eucalyptus trees were smouldering on one side,  
and clumps of grass were lighting up on the other.
Clouds glowed a burnt sienna orange, 
and the smell of woodfire and camping
clashed with cooler evening mists in Waimea.

Your voice crackled, broke up
as I passed smokey embankments.
I wished you good night
and drove home, winding Kohala Mountain.

The only visible sign of a fire on this side of the mountain
was a lone black cloud and an eerie sunset,
and the thought of you twirling, in the kitchen, at mid-night.