The sky in the distance is yellow
because it is saturated
with the living dust
that is emitted by trees,
who I happen to notice
are standing quite silent
on the matter
of this atmospheric discoloration,
as if you can do a thing
little-by-little and it doesn’t count.
But I see you can take a thing too far.
Fresh from my coursework
on the dangers of coffee dust
and grain silos,
I note that with one
ill-timed lightning strike,
an entire arboreal corridor
The heat will be tremendous
albeit of very short duration.
Most of the birds will escape
by surfing on a flying carpet of spreading heat.
The worms near the surface
will be translucent during the flash,
but unharmed, at least initially,
while the deeper ones
will remain cool as cucumbers,
burrowing and chundering away.
There will be crackles and pops,
sparks that zip in loop-to-loops,
incendiary questions begged,
resin and tree bark flying at close to the speed of sound,
acoustic anomalies that sound like trains,
then lots of helicopters. Cameras.
Footage of a bear running west,
difficult to keep in the frame.
A human survivor will crawl out from
a blanket of aluminum foil to smile and wave.
The bees will buzz and swarm,
and agree with the butterflies:
even a forest can have a misfire
I sneezed, shaking myself
from this little reverie.
What do you see, Hafiz?
Not that, he replied.
But what do you say we run the wipers
a time or two?
And give your mind a little rest.