If I’d spent time outside today, 

could’ve tasted the texture in air. So heavy; 
what the weatherman excitedly calls ‘haze’ 
(beholden to the company that pays his check?
(but his enthusiasm, genuine & I recall
 all the times he’s repeated “everything 
 is a cycle” despite the contrary steamrolling 
 evidence – but I digress….

Ashes of ash, of hickory and oak, of maple and pine 
Old Growth singing ache into chest, leaving 
tongue longing to record more than a ghost 
of charred-flavour and this, this:
summoning up the night 
I smelled seafoam and tasted salt 
in the wash of a rained-out hurricane 
hundreds of miles from the sea. Thousands 
away now, from both 
but still caught in a river of smoke.